Aussie influencer catches the gruesome moment a magpie lodged its beak in her eye

Australian TikToker Sarah Jade Lagettie of NSW shares a real-life story of how she was attacked by a territorial magpie while out on an early morning walk.
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Striding briskly along the foreshore, I held my phone at arm’s length, smiled and hit record on the camera.

I was glad for the chance to get my steps in while 
I recorded my lines. Later that day, I planned to use 
it as a voiceover for a fitness-themed video I was creating for TikTok.

It was 8.30am and only 
a few people were around. I was relieved there wouldn’t be any distractions.

Confidently, I started to say the first line.

A moment later, seemingly out of nowhere, I felt something hit my face.

I use my socials now to raise awareness of attacks. (Image: Supplied)

Have I been punched? I thought in shock.

A blurry black-and-white form shot straight across my line of vision.

I need to get out of here, 
I panicked.

Feeling shaken, I hurried back to my parked car.

Once safely inside, I checked my phone.

The magpie gave me a fright. (Image: Supplied)

Did I catch what happened on video? I wondered.

To my shock, I had. I’d captured the exact moment a large and angry bird had swooped me!

It was November 2023, and it suddenly dawned on me that magpie swooping season was in full swing.

Oddly, I’d never seen magpies in this area, much less along the promenade.

It’s one of the reasons I was happy to stroll there – I’ve got a huge fear of birds.

With shaking hands, I sent the video to my mum, Summah, 44.

Oh my God! Are you okay? she messaged back.

What happened next was terrifying. (Image: Supplied)

By now, the shock was wearing off.

My left eye is starting to hurt, I texted back.

Mum told me to go and have a look at it, so I headed to a nearby public toilet.

Looking in the mirror, 
I was surprised.

It looks fine, I thought.

I drove straight home, still feeling a bit shaken by what had happened.

A few hours later, my partner, Jackson, 25, got in.

“Why are you home so early?” he asked.

I handed him my phone.

“Check this out,” I said.

The magpie flew off seconds after poking me in the eye. (Image: Supplied)

He played it through once. Then, a second time, which he slowed down.

Watching with him, 
I shrieked. I could barely believe what I was seeing.

As the bird swooped, it had actually lodged its entire beak in my eye socket!

Waves of revulsion and disgust hit me. I felt like I was going to throw up.

I searched online:
What diseases do birds carry?

The list on the screen was horrible.

The first result showed birds and humans can transfer influenza, mites, and E coli or salmonella infections to each other.

I felt myself spiralling.

“Is my eye going to fall out?” I wailed.

“I think you better go to the hospital,” Jackson said.

My eye was so red and irritated I was worried I’d lose it. (Image: Supplied)

My eye hurt more than it had earlier, and it felt really irritated.

It’s redder as well, I thought, rechecking it.

Still, I knew it would take ages to get seen at our local hospital’s emergency department, so I decided to wait and see how it looked the next morning.

Throughout the evening, I continued to flush my eyes with warm water. Each time I did, I felt the irritation lessen a bit.

The next day, I wasn’t in any pain or discomfort.

It feels fine, I thought, thankfully.

As a fitness and health influencer I’ve got 200,000 followers on TikTok.

Wanting to raise awareness of swooping, I decided to share the video on my social media account.

I shared the video of the magpie attack to my 200,000 TikTok followers to raise awareness.

I also spoke about how I suffer from ornithophobia, an extreme fear of birds.

Since posting the video, it has received more than six million views and over 8000 comments.

I’d never leave the house again, wrote one person, adding, My fear of birds is already unreasonable but nope after that.

Many comments were also really supportive.

Lots of people said while the video was hard to watch, they were glad I hadn’t lost my eye.

Right now, I want to avoid exercising outdoors or anywhere near where the attack happened. For the moment, I’m using the treadmill in my home.

If I do need to go outside, I’m extra careful.

I hope to return to the waterfront in time, but I’ll stay closer to the water than the trees.

And one thing’s for sure, I’ll no longer go on any walks without a hat and my sunnies for protection!

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