'Traumatising' moment Aussie influencer's eye savagely attacked by bird

It seems its not just magpies that are attacking Australians this spring.

An Aussie influencer has captured the horrifying moment a swooping bird attacked her, forcing its entire beak into her eye as she was filming her “hot girl walk”.

Sarah Jade, who said she is scared of birds, detailed the “traumatising” incident in a TikTok posted on Wednesday, admitting she initially didn’t realise how close she came to losing her eye.

In the viral clip, she can be seen looking up while speaking to the camera before a black and white bird suddenly hits the right side of her face, prompting her to shriek and hold her arm up to her face. “This has to probably be one of the most traumatic things that has ever happened to me,” Sarah said. “It literally went in my eye!”

The black and white bird hitting Sarah Jade's face, with its beak in her eye socket.
Sarah Jade said she had no idea the bird's beak had gone in her eye until she rewatched the clip. Source: TikTok/@jadesara99

Slow-mo of 'disgusting' bird attack shocks Aussies

The social media influencer said she didn’t realise the extent of her contact with the bird — which she claimed was a magpie — until she rewatched the footage.

“I thought it just hit me on the side of my face until I watched back the video and I am traumatised,” she said following the attack. “I literally feel sick and I don’t even want to show it but I feel like I have to show it because what are the chances that I got it on film.”

Sarah then shows the clip of the bird hitting her in slow-mo, revealing almost its entire beak went inside her eye socket, just under here eyeball, before it darted across her face. “It kinda looks like it’s just gliding across my face,” she adds before imposing her face over a screenshot of the moment. “I actually can’t, it is so disgusting.”

Sarah said her eye was red and “so irritated” afterwards, and her Google search about birds and the bacteria they can carry led her to “spiral”. “I was going to go to the hospital today if my eye was going to fall out of my face,” she continues before urging people to be on the lookout for “stupid birds” during swooping season and that she will no longer go on walks without a hat and sunnies.

Bird revealed to be a peewee, not a magpie

The nauseating clip has since gained almost 1.5 million views in two days, however many viewers commented that the bird was in fact a peewee — otherwise known as a magpie-lark — not a magpie. Despite it’s confusing name, the native birds are not related to magpies or larks.

Sarah Jade's red eye and her speaking about the incident sitting in her car.
Sarah Jade said her eye was 'so irritated' after the swooping attack.

“Luckily it wasn’t a magpie, you would have lost your eye that’s ruthless,” one person said. “That screenshot has me WEAK. How did you not lost your eye?” another astonished viewer wrote. “The way my entire body recalled in horror,” someone else commented.

After reviewing the footage, professor in conservation and biodiversity Richard Fuller confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the bird seen swooping Sarah is indeed a peewee. “It’s relatively unusual for Magpie-larks to swoop people – mostly it’s Australian Magpies, Pied Butcherbirds, Masked Lapwings and Noisy Miners,” he said. “But quite a wide range of bird species will get defensive of perceived intruders near their nests or young.

“My guess is that they see eyes as a vulnerable spot, and as a way to force the ‘intruder’ to move away as quickly as possible.”

According to birding expert Greg Roberts, peewees are not known to attack people but are known “to very aggressively defend their territories”. Most peewee swoops happen during the nesting period of August to January. He told the ABC in 2018 that the birds also respond aggressively to images of themselves in reflective surfaces such as car mirrors – a possible explanation for Sarah's attack with it plausible the peewee saw itself in her selfie video.

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