Australia: it’s fucking packed with deadly wildlife. Much of our international mystique comes from snakes, spiders, and crocs lurking in every body of water – and that’s to say nothing of our drop bear infestation. Doubters will say the risks are blown out of proportion, and that Australians ham up the danger lurking in every suburb. To those people, I present this footage, showing a NSW kid being absolutely menaced by a territorial magpie. Horrifying shit.
Taking to Instagram on Monday, Lake Illawarra man Wayne Sherwood shared a video of his young son, Max, coming beak-to-helmet with a testy bird.
The footage shows the young gun riding a scooter down the footpath, while enduring repeated dive-bomb attacks from the magpie. The kid can be heard screaming his lungs out through the ordeal. It’s pretty gnarly gear.
That video has been viewed thousands of times on the platform, but versions shared elsewhere have reached millions of viewers. If anything, the clip has only cemented Australia’s reputation as a Wildlife Hellzone.
But young Max’s ordeal did not end with that one confrontation. Returning to Instagram, Sherwood shared a second video of the pair riding under the bird’s vengeful gaze. Notably, Max could be seen wearing an extra hoodie for beak-and-claw protection.
Still images from the second video reveal the intensity of the magpie’s attack, and the savagery many Australians can expect for simply stepping outside during spring.
It appears the pair both escaped unharmed.
Magpies primarily swoop during their nesting season, when the territorial fuckers shoo away anything, or anyone, they perceive as a threat to their younglings.
To help prevent more unfortunate encounters, Wildlife Victoria has established its Swoop Map, where punters can document their magpie run-ins and warn punters of potential aerial attacks.
While many folks still swear by the zip-tie-in-helmet thing as a deterrent to swooping, the best way to save yourself is to simply protect your head, be it with a normal helmet or an umbrella. Maybe even wave a stick about.
Even better, avoid traditional magpie swooping zones if you can. That’s some useful knowledge, whether you believe Australia is designed to kill you or not.