Two children may lose sight in one eye after magpie swoops

Two young Perth children could lose sight in one eye after being swooped on by a territorial magpie.

A local council has applied for a licence to have the bird killed after four reported attacks, but the move is proving controversial.

Magpies only swoop for a few weeks a year, but it only took a few seconds for one to threaten the sight of the two children.

It’s too early to say if four-year-old Indi or five-year-old Finn will have permanent damage after attacks at Clarko Reserve in the beachside suburb of Trigg last weekend.

Indi, 4, and Finn, 5, were swooped by a magpie at Clarko Reserve in the beachside suburb of Trigg. Source: 7 News
Indi, 4, and Finn, 5, were swooped by a magpie at Clarko Reserve in the beachside suburb of Trigg. Source: 7 News

The mother of a 15-month-old boy, Max, says he was swooped the following day.

“They wiped the blood away from his face and thankfully told me it had narrowly missed his eyes,” Max’s mum Joanna Angelucci said.

The City of Stirling has made an application for a licence to have the magpie killed.

“It was ongoing, the bird is quite aggressive, so on that basis we thought it was the right thing to do,” City of Stirling Acting CEO Michael Littleton said.

“We’ve got to look out for public safety.”

The mother of 15-month-old boy Max says he was swooped the day after Finn and Indi were attacked. Source: 7 News
The mother of 15-month-old boy Max says he was swooped the day after Finn and Indi were attacked. Source: 7 News

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will assess if the magpie is dangerous. If it is, it will be shot.

But the idea doesn’t sit well with everyone.

“I’d protest about that,” one City of Stirling resident said. “They can’t do that.”

“They were here before us, we just have to keep out of their way,” another person said.

Experts say wearing a hat and sunglasses will reduce your risk of being injured by a magpie. Source: 7 News
Experts say wearing a hat and sunglasses will reduce your risk of being injured by a magpie. Source: 7 News

“If they can be absolutely certain it is one particular bird that’s causing all these incidents then I would support that,” Ms Angelucci said.

Experts say wearing a hat and sunglasses will reduce your risk of being injured by a magpie.

If you do get swooped, the advice is to keep moving – don’t stop or crouch down.

The City of Stirling wants people attacked by magpies to report it.

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