A magpie in New South Wales, Australia, was filmed mimicking a siren noise, having supposedly 'learned to sing' the calls of emergency vehicles.
A local called Gregory Andrews shared the clip to a Facebook page called Australian Native Birds, writing: "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."
According to the New South Wales government website, Australian Magpies can mimic more than 35 species of 'native and introduced bird species', as well as other animal calls including those of dogs and horses.
The website explains: "Magpies have also been noted to mimic human speech, when living in close proximity to humans.
"When alone, a magpie will make a quiet, musical warbling noise, which does not carry for long distances.
"Pairs of magpies often take up a loud musical calling, known as carrolling, which they use to announce or defend their territory."
Andrews' post soon went viral, racking up more than 2,000 shares. However, while many people commented to say how amazing the footage was, others noted the clip was perhaps more 'ominous' than initially apparent.
One person wrote: "Remarkable, proof of the intelligence of these birds. I also see a Magpie, mimicking a fire siren in the Newcastle area, as a symptom of climate change. A metaphorical version of a 'canary in a coal mine'."
Another said: "Also quite indicative that it has heard fire engines a lot which is ominous."
New South Wales is one of the many areas currently ravaged by bushfires in Australia, with the state declaring a State of Emergency earlier this month.
At 6pm there are 120 fires, 68 are not contained. Eight Emergency Warnings are in placeb. It has been a busy day for the 3,000 firefighters in the field.
As the southerly change moves up the coast conditions continue to be unpredictable. Stay up to date. #nswfires #nswrfs pic.twitter.com/bEVfp65Gse
- NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) December 31, 2019
The NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner has since said this has been the worst fire season on record for the state.
Gladys Berejiklian, the New South Wales premier, also confirmed today that two people have died in Cobargo, while another person is missing.
Berejiklian said: "It's been confirmed today that there are two deceased persons in Cobargo.
"The police have confirmed that. A third person is missing with grave concerns for their safety, west of Narooma. Our message is please follow instructions."
Featured Image Credit: Gregory Andrews/Facebook
Topics: Viral, World News, News, Animals, Australia