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Magpie swoops on cyclist

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Old Monday 16th September 2019, 12:33   #1
PYRTLE
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Magpie swoops on cyclist

https://news.sky.com/story/cyclist-d...ralia-11811172
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Old Monday 16th September 2019, 12:37   #2
pianoman
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All the news reports here show stock pictures of European Magpie...Not of course related to the Aus Magpie that really is a surprisingly aggressive bird in the breeding season
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Old Monday 16th September 2019, 20:12   #3
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Originally Posted by pianoman View Post
All the news reports here show stock pictures of European Magpie...Not of course related to the Aus Magpie that really is a surprisingly aggressive bird in the breeding season
When I've been in areas in Oz where the locals have alerted me to the risk of being 'swooped', I've resorted to fastening a cane or longish thick stick to my backpack with something tied like a cloth to the top end so that it projects about 30cm above my head. It seemed to work pretty well.

Mind you , I've visited schools with an Australian friend who is an A-class ringer who is called in when Austrailian Magpies are 'swooping' on children when they change classrooms, He catches then releases them about 50km away in areas where he's not encountered Magpies, but often the released bird is soon driven off by territorial pairs that no-one knew were around!

The kids were lining up to proudly show us their war-wounds, promising that next time they would remember to hold a book above their heads...
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Old Sunday 22nd December 2019, 09:22   #4
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The Australian magpies are just trying to defend their families, to state the B obvious. As with all creatures, and as with humans, their behaviour varies between individuals. I was in Australia a few months ago and noticed in Perth a poster advising on safety measures against swooping birds - wear a wide brimmed hat and sun glasses as protection. Cyclists seem also to be advised on changing routes, and I have seen cyclists with plastic "spikes" on the tops of their hats, spikes like those to dissuade pigeons and gulls from landing in buildings. Two pretend eyes on the back of the hat seem also to put the birds off. MJB's stick idea is a good one which I have used here in the Isle of Man as a deterent to defensive herring gulls although, obviously, it is not one which a cyclist can use without attaching the stick to the front of the bike.

I have been attacked by a pair of Australian magpies years ago in NSW, so I know a bit of what it is like, although in my case I had my wide brimmed Aussie had on and it was surprise rather than anything else which afflicted me.

Moving a breeding bird 50 km seems a harsh thing to do.

It is a great shame that the gentleman in the story died, although I hope that it doesn't seem to lessen my sadness to write that there are many other reasons why people die on the roads in Australia, as anywhere else.

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Old Sunday 22nd December 2019, 09:37   #5
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When I was in Queensland a couple of months ago, I came across this sign which had been erected on a road leading to a school.
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Old Sunday 22nd December 2019, 11:32   #6
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When I was in Queensland a couple of months ago, I came across this sign which had been erected on a road leading to a school.
That's a good example of a commonplace sign in Oz. Often, they are near schools, which in Oz are mostly in spacious grounds with ample nest-sites for Australian Magpies.

Here's a much more birder-friendly attitude from near Lockhardt, Iron Range, Cape York...
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Old Sunday 22nd December 2019, 11:40   #7
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LOL that's a great sign, I love it MJB.

I'm shortly going to start a thread in RF for unusual signs (they may be commonplace for some, but we'd never see them in the UK LOL).

Though if anyone else wants to start the thread, that's fine by me
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Old Monday 23rd December 2019, 13:35   #8
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I've been in Western Australia (Perth area) for almost three months now, and have seen signs similar to that Delia posted. I've also seen areas cordoned off with warnings about the nesting magpies. And, I was swooped on one occasion. I did have on my wide-brimmed hat, and moved out of the area quickly.

As usual, there is an app for this: https://www.magpiealert.com
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Old Wednesday 8th January 2020, 17:28   #9
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Originally Posted by MJB View Post

Here's a much more birder-friendly attitude from near Lockhardt, Iron Range, Cape York...
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Smiling at that sign - though there is a slight inference that the birdwatchers are a strange species that may constitute a hazard
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Old Thursday 9th January 2020, 01:54   #10
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The Australian magpies are just trying to defend their families, to state the B obvious....
Sometimes it just becomes personal !

I used to work next to a large shopping mall that I would often go over to at lunch time. There were tree lined avenues surrounding, and a large open air carpark surrounding - again with spaced shade trees throughout. At that time there was a postie who passed by/through on his daily rounds - all kitted out in fluoro yellow jacket and helmet and red step through postie bike replete with fluoro orange flag on the back.

In an area where there were h-u-n-d-r-e-d-s of people walking around in the car park, going in and out of the shopping centre, and along the street outside, waiting at bus stops, (across the road from the local pool) , this poor bloke was singled out relentlessly by the resident magpie who lived in some large trees in a park opposite my work.

This magpie would pick this bloke up on his radar as he came past that park and swoop him mercilessly for the better part of a kilometre ....... never even looked at anyone else - day after day after day.

This poor guy even took to the extreme measures of trying to disappear by riding along the pathway under the surrounding shopping centre awning. No good. The magpie would track him all the way and hit him as soon as he emerged.

One day he pulled up next to me at the entrance to the shops - he was a jittery mess. I said to him, jeez mate, what did you do to that magpie? He said nothin' - he just doesn't like me!

He even tried dismounting and walking his bike through the shopping centre - only to have the magpie absolutely nail him when he emerged on the other side !!

Poor bloke was a mess - it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up having to take early retirement with PTSD !

Sometimes these birds (and Pied Butcherbirds too) just seem to go plain psycho ......




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Old Thursday 9th January 2020, 12:17   #11
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... - all kitted out in fluoro yellow jacket and helmet and red step through postie bike replete with fluoro orange flag on the back ...
Wonder if he'd do better to take off all the hi-vis stuff and 'disappear' in the crowd?


Otherwise, would it work to bring the bird some peace offerings, a handful of nice food titbits when you go by?
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