In stories to be filed under ‘This can only happen in Australia’, this particular yarn has to rank among the most extreme.
An unsuspecting rollercoaster rider has collided head on, quite literally, with a rogue ibis on the high-speed DC Rivals HyperCoaster at Queensland’s Movie World over the weekend.
Already contending with high levels of g-force from the ride’s fast-paced twists and turns, Gold Coast youngster Paige appeared oblivious to the impending feathery frenzy as she rode alongside her uncle Mitch.
But soon, the bird – colloquially known to Australians as the ‘bin chicken’ – made itself known in dramatic fashion.
Posted by Nicole Ormiston on Saturday, July 27, 2019
Vision shows the young girl had only moments to react, as the rollercoaster ascended a rapid climb, before the ibis struck her in the face.
Her visible horror quickly descended into a run of expletives that would make any fair dinkum thrillseeker proud: “Oh my god. What the f–k. I just got hit by a bird.”
The video, posted to Facebook by her mother Nicole Ormiston, has been viewed more than 230,000 times at the time of writing.
Ms Ormiston says her daughter escaped the ride with a beak scratch on her right shoulder, and some ruffled feathers.
However the status of the bird, to this date, is up in the air.
Social media users quick to take a stickybeak offered their thoughts on the latest incident involving our newest national icon.
Is the ibis ok?
— Jordan Raskopoulos (@JordanRasko) July 30, 2019
I asked Movie World about the bin chicken incident and they described it as a guest having "a rare and unusual interaction with an ibis". That's certainly one way of putting it… pic.twitter.com/Je3JpBWnkl
— sam langford (@_slangers) July 30, 2019
When the Australian White Ibis are in breeding season the small patch of skin on the under-surface of their wing changes from dull pink to a dark scarlet.
Slightly unrelated, but we've also heard they aren't big fans of rollercoasters… ^GK pic.twitter.com/rHJ9OmvjHW
— CSIRO (@CSIROnews) July 30, 2019
The ibis, most commonly seen foraging for food in bins across major Australian cities, has experienced a recent rise in popularity, with many devotees painting murals, baking cakes and getting tattoos of the bird.
And it was almost named the country’s most popular bird in a 2017 Guardian Australia poll, where it was pipped at the post by the swooping Australian Magpie.