Cameron Nielson experienced something we all dread at this time of year - he was suddenly swooped on by a magpie!
The vicious attack left the 8-year-old boy with a pieced eyelid and scratched eyeball. A bit shaken, Cameron's parents thought that was the end of it but they were soon worried.
‘He complained about 12 o'clock that he was having trouble seeing.’ Cameron’s mum, Skye, told ABC News.
After going to Gladstone hospital, doctors told Skye that Cameron would have to travel the 6 hours to Brisbane if he was going to save his eyesight. When he arrived at Brisbane he went in for surgery immediately, which was successful.
‘He's making a full recovery, back to his normal self,’ says the relieved mum.
Cameron will have weekly eye tests to make sure he regains his full eyesight.
Wildlife expert Frank Mills told the ABC that the attack was ‘unusually vicious’.
He recommends wearing hats and sunglasses, and not walking alone may help deter the magpies, which become most active between July and November.
If attacks are sever enough, wildlife officers can capture and relocate troublesome birds.
Frank also urges people to not see the birds as a pest, even though they can be aggressive.
‘Magpies are just trying to look after their family and we [need to] be a little bit considerate of them being protective of their children,’ he said.