A Magpie in Australia Mimics Emergency Responder Sirens Because Things Are That Bad

The birds can mimic over 35 types of sounds.

Australia's bushfires have been raging on causing all kinds of havoc, danger, and negative news headlines. It has already been estimated that so far they have emitted more than half of the country’s 2018 annual carbon dioxide emissions. 


A mere three days ago, 4000 residents of a city called Mallacoota were forced to leave town and were sent to the waterside to find shelter. And just around that time, the Bureau of Meteorology announced that the wildfires were causing giant thunderstorms that could spark more fires.

Mimicking emergency responders

Now, a man in Newcastle, New South Wales (NSW), has captured a rather charming and yet terrifyingly sad video. It is one of a little magpie mimicking emergency responder services to perfection.

"OK this is one of the coolest things ever. Today I met an Australian magpie in Newcastle NSW which had learned to sing the calls of fire-engines and ambulances," wrote on Facebook former Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews.

Friendly birds

Magpies are generally friendly birds, reports the NSW Government. "The magpie's lack of shyness has made it popular with suburban gardeners and farmers both for its caroling song and its appetite for insect pests," writes the website.

They are relatively safe birds except around 4 to 6 weeks during the nesting period where they aggressively defend their territory. "People walking past may be seen as 'invaders' of the territory, prompting the magpies to fly low and fast over the person, clacking their bills as they pass overhead," writes the government's website.


The NSW Government also says they can mimic over 35 types of songs. As they live in close proximity to humans, it is normal that they would be exposed to human sounds, and in this situation, they're unfortunately mimicking the sound of sirens. 

Although the video is an entertaining tribute to what a talented bird can do, it is also a harrowing reminder of what people in Australia are now going through.

Follow Us on

Stay on top of the latest engineering news

Just enter your email and we’ll take care of the rest:

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.