A magpie has swooped a Sydney man inside his home while he was engrossed in a video game.
Video of the live stream captures the moment gamer Rhys Lynch jumps back in fear as the bird flies across the room.
“What the f***?” he yells.
“Oi, get out of here.”
Mr Lynch told Yahoo News Australia that bird crashing into his room initially left him dumfounded.
“I was in pure shock, it took me a while to realise what was going on,” he said.
“I was like, did that just really happen?
He said he tried to play on, but the magpie had other ideas.
Moments later it swooped across his face, knocking his headphones flying.
“Honestly mate, my reaction had been just to get back on straight away and help the boys win the game,” he said.
“The match was in double overtime and should have been wrapped up ages ago.”
“They ended up winning without me.”
Despite the attack, Mr Lynch holds no animosity towards the bird, and says that incident his in fact upped his spirits, with his friends now calling him “The Magpie Man”.
Strangely he’s now quite fond of the bird, and has named it Brimstone after one of the characters in Valorant, the game he was playing.
Magpie swoop gives Sydney gamer a lift
He says it’s been a rough year, witnessing the bushfires over summer, then losing his job after the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Being swooped by a magpie was totally unexpected, but he’s happy if watching his misfortune brings people some joy, even though it’s at his expense.
“It’s been a pretty, pretty crazy year so far”, he said.
“I definitely didn’t think I’d get head-shotted in my own house.
“I guess that’s 2020, hey.”
Mr Lynch managed to get the magpie outside, and believes it only flew in to raid the dog food he had put out for his new puppy.
“While I’m streaming, I just leave my back door open so [the dog] can go to the toilet,” he said.
“I think it must have seen the dog food on the floor in the bowl, so it’s gone for that.”
“[The magpie] still sits on my back fence every morning.”
‘Someone in the neighbourhood is feeding it’
While it’s far from being swooping season yet, magpies wandering into people’s homes can happen at any time during the year, according to Australia’s largest wildlife rescue group.
WIRES carer Inga Schwaiger thinks the magpie’s bold move into Mr Lynch’s home most likely occurred because someone in the area has been feeding it and encouraging it into their home.
This most likely led the magpie, which she describes as belonging to an “incredibly intelligent species”, to think it could wander into all human homes.
“You will find that someone in the immediate neighbourhood is feeding it, and letting it inside,” she said.
“We always discourage people from feeding magpies and other wildlife because they get used to eating the wrong food.
“They do get tame and it then can create problems.”
Ms Schwaiger is thankful that Mr Lynch is a bird lover as not everyone is as friendly.
She warns that WIRES have been called to rescue tame magpies that have been mistreated, after they have walked into the wrong person’s yard.
She says that with magpies quick to adapt to humans, they can create problems for other people in the neighbourhood.
The author, Michael Dahlstrom, is a registered wildlife carer in NSW.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.