A baby girl succumbed to the injuries which she sustained after her mother tripped and fell while trying to avoid a swooping magpie.

The shocking ‘freak accident’ occurred just after midday on Sunday, August 8, at Glindemann Park in Queensland’s Holland Park, in Brisbane, Australia.

Emergency services responded to the scene and transported the infant to the hospital with critical injuries.

"We responded to reports that a mum had fallen with a baby in her arms, reportedly ducking to avoid a magpie," a Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said.

"The QAS medical director and critical care paramedics responded and transported the infant to Queensland Children’s Hospital in a critical condition."

The child succumbed to her injuries and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

A witness said the infant’s parents were in such extreme shock that the paramedics stayed with them for about an hour.

"I’ve seen shock before but this was beyond anything I’d ever seen," he told the Courier-Mail.

The incident comes just a few weeks after local news agencies reported that magpies had begun their swooping season early this year.

"This is an extremely tragic accident and our hearts go out to the family involved," Brisbane City Council Chairperson, Kim Marx said.

"A number of signs warning about swooping birds were in place around the area where this incident occurred, and our officers have now installed several more," Marx added.

The magpie breeding season traditionally starts as the days get warmer towards the end of winter, extending until the end of spring. However, experts say some incidents can occur earlier this year due to warmer winter days across the country.

"While it's only the male magpies that swoop and only 10 percent of males do swoop … the consequences, especially when people are caught unaware, can be truly terrifying and devastating," Sean Dooley from BirdLife Australia said.

Dooley said the magpie swooping season occurs between July and December, and a peak is observed in September.

"Swooping season only occurs when the male magpies are defending the chicks in the nest – so for that brief period where the chicks are really vulnerable," Dooley said.

Swooping Magpie
Australian Swooping Magpie. Pixabay.

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