There's a video that has been making the rounds of an adorable kid on a scooter being chased by a magpie. The kid screams in terror as the bird continuously pursues him. The video can be seen in the Tweet below:
The whole event takes place in Australia where magpies are quite common and although the video might be quite humorous, magpie attacks are not. According to IFLScience, the birds, eager to protect their nests, execute some pretty ferocious attacks, particularly between the months of late August to late November.
When swooping down on people they tend to aim for the head, the face, and the eyes. Yikes! Back in 2017, 3,253 attacks and 518 injuries were reported as a result of magpie attacks including a boy who needed eye surgery and a cyclist who died trying to avoid the birds.
This is no laughing matter! IFLScience further reported that the birds actually seem to recognize the people they attack. “Research has shown magpies can recognize up to at least 100 different people and we think the main factor is facial recognition," magpie expert Sean Dooley told radio station 3aw. "If you think a magpie has it in for you, you’re probably right."
What makes matters worse is that now people are wearing masks, which means the birds can not differentiate who they considered safe and who they perceived as a threat.
“A magpie may know you and know that you’re okay, but when you’re wearing a mask they may not be able to recognize you,” Dooley explained.
So what can Australians do to protect themselves from these vicious, albeit slightly funny attacks? Avoid the routes where magpies seem to live in. If you have been attacked along a certain route then chances are the bird will still remember you! So stay safe and take another road.