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Approaching Magpie Swooping Season

By tea7 22 August 2013 38

The first magpie attack of the season was reported on the 23rd of August last year.

Coming up to the anniversary of that date, I wanted to invite Rioters to add pins to this google map http://goo.gl/maps/SSdGr, as swooping magpies are encountered this season.

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Approaching Magpie Swooping Season
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troll-sniffer 11:32 am 01 Oct 13

Another comment re magpie experience (personal)… years ago when I was walking to school with friends I threw sticks at a magpie, which then targeted me and only me for the rest of the season. lesson learnt. Then we went overseas for two years and on return I once again started to walk to school with the same friends, and from the same tree a magpie targeted me and me only. I have to assume it was the same bird that hadn’t forgotten.

Moral of the story? Never antagonise a magpie.

Sandman 9:05 am 01 Oct 13

Got a couple near our house that seem intent on attacking my 7 year old son. They’ll ignore the rest of us on bikes (including a 3 year old). Tried different helmets, clothes and bike but they just seem to hate him.

gooterz 12:51 am 01 Oct 13

troll-sniffer said :

An interesting observation was made by myself, me and I today. Walking around the eastern end of the lake I did perchance upon a gentleman at odds with a magpie that had just tapped on his helmet. he was sorta annoyed and was throwing sticks at the magpie. “N-o-o-o-o” I thought, “he’s stuffed it for the rest of us now.”

Well, I busied myself about warning the next few bike riders to look out because the magpie would most likely be murderously pissed off with all the cyclists passing by for the rest of the season, yet a strange thing happened. Most cyclists were allowed through unmolested or only mildly warned. but about one ion every half dozen copped the full swoop, swoop treatment for up to a hundred metres.

Didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it though I noted a couple of the swoopees had white t-shirts, another had a bright orange bike.

I’ve ridden past said magpie a few times with my cricket hat on (nice and white, no glint as from a helmet), and have only copped a mild warning whoosh once when I stopped and had a look at something near the base of the tree.

So, it seems magpies have an imprint of something they don’t like, and if you fit that imprint you’ll get swooped. others won’t.

(I also know from experience that in isolated areas magpies will attack anything that comes within their nesting area, and the more animals etc that pass regularly through will make them more choosy about what to expend their efforts on. Most magpies that have properly adapted to inner city living wouldn’t be able to feed themselves and chicks if they tried to chase away every interloper in their territory.

Maybe they’re smarter and knew you were watching.

If they stuck to their pattern you would know so they decided to change it up a bit?

Magpies this year seem to be going other magpies a lot. What happened to all the other birds and the Indian miners?

troll-sniffer 9:03 pm 30 Sep 13

An interesting observation was made by myself, me and I today. Walking around the eastern end of the lake I did perchance upon a gentleman at odds with a magpie that had just tapped on his helmet. he was sorta annoyed and was throwing sticks at the magpie. “N-o-o-o-o” I thought, “he’s stuffed it for the rest of us now.”

Well, I busied myself about warning the next few bike riders to look out because the magpie would most likely be murderously pissed off with all the cyclists passing by for the rest of the season, yet a strange thing happened. Most cyclists were allowed through unmolested or only mildly warned. but about one ion every half dozen copped the full swoop, swoop treatment for up to a hundred metres.

Didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it though I noted a couple of the swoopees had white t-shirts, another had a bright orange bike.

I’ve ridden past said magpie a few times with my cricket hat on (nice and white, no glint as from a helmet), and have only copped a mild warning whoosh once when I stopped and had a look at something near the base of the tree.

So, it seems magpies have an imprint of something they don’t like, and if you fit that imprint you’ll get swooped. others won’t.

(I also know from experience that in isolated areas magpies will attack anything that comes within their nesting area, and the more animals etc that pass regularly through will make them more choosy about what to expend their efforts on. Most magpies that have properly adapted to inner city living wouldn’t be able to feed themselves and chicks if they tried to chase away every interloper in their territory.

Holditz 7:49 pm 30 Sep 13

A study into what works best in thwarting the swoop of the parenting magpie. What worked will surprise you- or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wHreVKgOT4&feature=player_embedded

Dingoman25 4:01 pm 30 Sep 13

Thumper said :

Speaking of magpies, I just had one wander in my back door and ask me for a feed 🙂

Cheeky little bugger, he shows complete disdain for the cats…

But ever so much more civilised than those psycho, testosterone-filled swoopers.

Thumper 12:04 pm 30 Sep 13

Speaking of magpies, I just had one wander in my back door and ask me for a feed 🙂

Cheeky little bugger, he shows complete disdain for the cats…

patrick_keogh 10:17 pm 29 Sep 13

fabforty said :

Is it over yet ?

No, two swooped me on this morning’s ride. Both pretty half-hearted though.

PoQ 9:17 pm 29 Sep 13

Its not just the magpies. There’s also a lapwing going all psycho near Flynn Place near the National Library.

fabforty 5:47 pm 29 Sep 13

Is it over yet ?

Dilandach 11:29 am 16 Sep 13

The worst magpie I’ve ever dealt with was one of the most vicious and cunning I’d ever had the misfortune to be on the receiving end of. First time I was walking past a small mall, got swooped but it wasn’t a normal snap of the beak near the ear but a full snap on the back of the head drawing blood.

Second time, same place and got swooped again so I made a dash for the nearby mall and waited. I could see people walking around in the carpark without getting swooped. I waited for around ten minutes so I figured that the coast was clear… nope. The moment I was in the open I got swooped again. Mongrel thing was waiting for me.

Didn’t walk that way after that.

jase! 11:09 am 16 Sep 13

had blood drawn yesterday between the hospice and kings avenue bridge but he seemed selective on who he attacked, other cyclists got through without issue

muscledude_oz 10:10 am 16 Sep 13

Our concern with magpie attacks has caused a bit of bemusement overseas in the past. I had a penfriend in Los Angeles during the 1980s and ’90s and he sent a clipping from the LA Times about croc attacks in the NT. One Darwin resident was quoted as saying “You know what the biggest wildlife problem in Canberra is? Magpies. They run education programs telling residents how to live with magpies”.

thebrownstreak69 9:16 am 16 Sep 13

RB78 said :

Making friends with them definitely helps. I remember as a kid, I’d sit in my backyard and eat some toast for breakfast and chuck some crusts to the birds. The magpies would always come down and eat it and over time I had them actually sitting next to me or on the ground in front of me and if I held out a ice they’d come and take it from me.

There was a big gum tree up the road where they’d swoop walkers and cyclists, but they never went after me 🙂

Just don’t be too good to them – my in laws fed them too much and they now come up and to their beaks on the back door when they’re hungry!

My bro-in-law has done the same thing. And now his back deck gets covered in bird s*** on a regular basis.

Kayem 8:54 pm 15 Sep 13

The friends thing works in your local area. We have fed a few generations of a few different families for about twenty years and I have not been swooped in the locale in living memory. Once outside their territory, it appears they don’t word other magpies up on who the helpful humans are.

RB78 7:29 pm 15 Sep 13

Making friends with them definitely helps. I remember as a kid, I’d sit in my backyard and eat some toast for breakfast and chuck some crusts to the birds. The magpies would always come down and eat it and over time I had them actually sitting next to me or on the ground in front of me and if I held out a ice they’d come and take it from me.

There was a big gum tree up the road where they’d swoop walkers and cyclists, but they never went after me 🙂

Just don’t be too good to them – my in laws fed them too much and they now come up and to their beaks on the back door when they’re hungry!

Madam Cholet 1:50 pm 10 Sep 13

I heard something on 666 the other day that suggeested that if you ‘make friends’ with them then they will indded pretty much leave you alone – unless you do something out of the ordinary. The guy being interviewed said he fed his couple in residence some oats – which I have duly now done. Ours are coming quite close to us now and we chat away like we are old friends! I’m hoping they will pass the word around that we are good folk not to be swooped! Crazy magpie woman!

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