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By jockrox 16 October 2010 17

Heyy guys, the name’s Leigh.

I’m 11, yes thats right, but I really need someones help.

The last two days on the way home from school (On my bicycle) I’ve been swooped and pecked at by male magpies. On the first day I was attacked by one but now I’m being attacked by the odd three.  It’s totally not fair, I’ve been going through that route to school for 3 years, and not once had I been attacked before,  Why now?…

I’m starting to get a little frightened in case i’m in a car & bike accident because of a magpie. I might have to go another route until the breeding season is over. I always felt sorry for the Brats… but my dad always said; “if any bird comes to attack don’t take it, grab it by the neck swing it around and throw it, let it know who’s boss.”

But, I don’t agree As much as I hate them, I couldn’t hurt them. I hear about the big eyes on the helmet, but what works without you looking like a idiot on  something…

thanks if you help me,, … Leighx

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majorLazer 3:19 pm 18 Oct 10

Hoping to be the exeption, I was walking from the kingston railway station to the Library and was attacked by not one but two magpies, and as had headphones on totally unaware till something fast clipped my ear swooping away. Then it happened again till I ran to the next road. Unfortunately there was another one(not the same one since I crossed the road and waited to see any birds crossing as well). I had no food on me and was walking quite slowing so why was I attacked?

Hopefully for you walking with the bike will work, but I would still be alert 🙂

trix 1:47 pm 18 Oct 10

Yep, I third the feeding suggestion.

And apparently the big eyes stuck on the helmet are completely ineffective – jury’s still out on the effectiveness of cable ties.

Thumper 10:06 am 17 Oct 10

I’m sure your headmaster would understand and sympathise if you simply didn’t go to school the next few weeks.


facet 9:17 am 17 Oct 10

The trick is to feed them. I little bit of beef mince in a baggie or something. Once you have fed them they will never attack you again. Even when you are in a different location. I know it makes no sense but try it and you will be surprised!

I agree, not only will they not attack, but I have seen my local magpies have a go at other rogue magpies behaving aggressively towards me on the border of their territory. They seem to monitor everything that goes on in their territory, I have seem them attacking a brown snake which was near children’s play equipment in Ngunnawal.

damien haas 8:03 am 17 Oct 10

Another whinging St Kilda fan… Carn the Pies!

Skidbladnir 11:04 pm 16 Oct 10

If its just annoying and you know another way, take the other way.
If you have to go through threre, get off yoru bike, walk it through at a reasonable pace, and stare it down.
For most of the time they’re fine, just once they finish forming magpie babbies they calm down.
Respect them, and they shouldn’t cause too much trouble.

If they’re off-the-charts aggressive and there’s no alternative paths (or if someone has been responding to their aggression with teases or going in with a whacking stick, get someone in touch with TAMS and have it dealt with by rangers.

PS: 11 year olds are reading RiotACT? Does this mean I can’t say f*** anymore???

deye 9:12 pm 16 Oct 10

I’ve found the stick on fake eyes that move work okay (buy them from a craft shop), failing that, as the others have said, get off and walk that section. Probably best to wear sunglasses when staring at the bird.

terubo 8:47 pm 16 Oct 10

I’m sure your headmaster would understand and sympathise if you simply didn’t go to school the next few weeks.

astrojax 7:53 pm 16 Oct 10

apparently a falcon will help… or is that just pigeons?

barking toad 7:31 pm 16 Oct 10

2010 is the year of the Magpie – ask Nicole Reiwoldt.

Wear a Collingwood jumper Leigh and things will be sweet.

troll-sniffer 5:38 pm 16 Oct 10

Can you go the other side of the block for the next month?

If not, and I know it takes guts to do it, just head down, don’t look and ride through them.

Try getting yer ma or pa to help you fit a cloth top to your helmet, some magpies think the shiny surface is a snake.

Finally, if you can ride one handed, and you should be able to at your age, just before you get to the swooping area, pick up a stick and twirl it above your head while riding through, they won’t (normally) go near a twirling stick.

Grail 5:12 pm 16 Oct 10

I used to have to deal with a magpie up in Latham that would swoop until it drew blood. Turns out it was so vicious because local kids were throwing stones at it and its mate. The only way of dealing with that guy was to ride faster.

Apart from that, WillowJim has the best suggestions – make eye contact, keep moving, and if the bird continues to attack notify Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS).

bd84 4:58 pm 16 Oct 10

Tennis racquet should give you a good shot at it.

Are 11 year olds even allowed to use the interweb? Good to see parents pay close attention to their child’s activities on here..

Deref 4:56 pm 16 Oct 10

WillowJim’s advice is good. while you’re waiting for TAMS, walk your bike through the maggie’s territory, wear a helmet with eyes and spikes.

Thumper 3:52 pm 16 Oct 10


take a different route for a few weeks. They’ll stop swooping soon.

Hells_Bells74 3:35 pm 16 Oct 10

Yep it’s official, Magpies must be into the Riotact too.. The way they attack cyclists and all. It’s a real toughy but WillowJim has the best answer. You can’t look easy while riding so just walk it with no fear and a keen eye.

Good luck Leigh.

WillowJim 3:19 pm 16 Oct 10

I’ve been in similar situations and tried everything. My helmet is covered in spikes and huge fake eyes at the back; I’ve swung sticks; etc.

The only thing I’ve ever found that works is to get off your bike and walk when you know you’re near it. And when you see it attacking, stop and watch it. It won’t attack. Keep walking, slowly, while watching it.

It that doesn’t work, it’s far too aggressive (probably because it’s been teased/attacked) and you should probably call Canberra Connect. TAMS will remove magpies as a last resort.

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