Footage of a magpie attacking an Australian reporter minutes before he went on-air prompted comments on social media about how things could have been ‘much worse’.
A magpie flew into 9News’ Melbourne senior reporter, Brett McLeod, as he was preparing for a live broadcast outside the Parliament House about how Covid-19 restrictions were being eased in the city. Footage showed the bird diving into the reporter and pecking at his face.
However, the seasoned journalist quickly regained his composure and delivered his report while being dubbed ‘unflappable’ by the news anchor in the studio.
Watch the moment here:
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) October 26, 2020
McLeod reacted to the incident saying he “blinked at the right time”.
What is it about birds and @9NewsMelb ??
(And, all fine – blinked at the right time. Luckily!) https://t.co/WBAnNiD0dk
— Brett Mcleod (@Brett_McLeod) October 26, 2020
Many praised the journalist on social media for remaining unfazed despite the bird strike:
Very very lucky. This just shows how dangerously crazy these birds are. It went straight for his eye. As we’ve seen so far this swooping season, others have not been so fortunate! https://t.co/4hVMTwnGrA
— Ben Kimber (@BenKs_World) October 26, 2020
Could’ve lost his eye. https://t.co/2RzvEap1Xy
— Lachlan Steele (@Lachy_Steele) October 26, 2020
Oh Brett, that footage will haunt you for the rest of your days. Glad that bird didn’t draw blood x
— Celia Hirsh (@sealspeak) October 26, 2020
— Damian Ryan (@DamoNews) October 26, 2020
Professionalism at it’s best! https://t.co/s4Y2iiOANh
— ✨Hayley Steele (@HayleyPostsIt) October 26, 2020
2020 is an unusual year, this is a Magpie actually hitting a target https://t.co/KBG9XsBool
— One Week at a Time (@The_FishmanAU) October 26, 2020
When Australians talk about lethal fauna, you may think sharks or crocs, but nope. Its the birds, man! https://t.co/1SECmQhpp4
— Alex Luck (@AlexLuck9) October 26, 2020
Gangsters of the sky strike again.. 😂😂 https://t.co/GkS5KKMlWZ
— Mick (@SometimeMJM1) October 26, 2020
The black-and-white Australian magpie tends to attack people if they get too close to their nests. Spring is widely known as the ‘swooping season’ in Australia when magpies attack humans and other birds if they stray too close while their fledglings hatch and nest, Reuters reported.
Australians are warned every year that magpie swooping season has arrived, with a special website tracking locations and incidents of swooping attacks.
However, the anchors pointed this wasn’t even the first time a reporter from the channel had been attacked by a magpie. In 2018, reporter Mark Santomartino had blood dripping down his face after he was attacked by a magpie in a Melbourne park. Another reporter Josh Bristow had to run away after bird hit his ear.
To avoid such attacks, locals are urged to wear sunglasses when stepping out or use an umbrella to protect themselves from the bird.
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