In truly terrifying news, a magpie in New South Wales has heard so many sirens throughout the bushfire crisis that it can now mimic the sound itself.
Perched upon a front fence in Newcastle, NSW, the bird was captured mimicking the sound of a fire engine in footage that has now gone viral online.
As bushfires ferociously burn across the country, Newcastle man Gregory Andrews witnessed what he describes as one of the “coolest things ever.”
“Today I met an Australian magpie in Newcastle NSW which had learned to sing the calls of fire-engines and ambulances,” he said.
Mr Andrews initially shared the post in the Australian Native Birds Facebook group on Boxing Day.
The footage has since been reposted by the Copacabana Rural Fire Brigade, where it has been shared over 5,000 times and received nearly 150,000 views since being posted on Thursday morning
According to the NSW Government website, Australian magpies have an extensive vocabulary, with the ability to mimic dogs, horses and up to 35 species of birds. Magpies in built-up areas have also been known to mimic human speech, and now they even know the sound of a fire engine.
It is truly terrifying stuff.
The vocal magpie has become a symbol of the bushfire crisis that is currently ravaging the country.
As of Thursday morning, over 110 fires burned across New South Wales, including over 50 out of control blazes.
At least 1087 homes across the state have been destroyed as a result of the bushfires since July 2019.
The viral footage comes as tourists and locals have been urged by authorities to leave the NSW south coast as conditions are expected to worsen over the weekend.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said this year’s bushfire season is “absolutely” the worst on record for NSW, according to The Guardian.