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Magpies Starting Early

By imarty - 10 September 2010 40

Out walking the dogs with the missus and the young fella on his bike the other day when my young fella was swooped by a magpie.

He was about 30 metres in front of us and the magpie wasn’t getting that close so he was unaware but this is in the same area where we get swooped each year by a magpie that isn’t afraid to come at you front on.

Anyone else had experience of this so early in the year? I’ve noticed the cable ties on cyclists so maybe so? Any other location rioters should be aware of?

BTW it’s on the bike path in Mawson, not far before the bridge over the canal & tunnel under Athlon heading south.

What’s Your opinion?


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Magpies Starting Early
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grumpyrhonda 7:16 pm 13 Sep 10

farnarkler said :

You’re spot on Ryan, we’ve been feeding the same family for years and they don’t swoop us. We do however get a tap on the sliding door when they’re hungry. They certainly live longer than I thought as one of our regulars has half a top beak.

The one I used to feed at Palmerston had half a top beak! I chose to feed them only occasionally. They still recognised me but didn’t expect the food all the time.

Thumper 8:12 am 13 Sep 10

I’m also starting to wonder what diseases the local Maggies carry in their saliva

Oh, the usual, bubonic plague, diptheria, small pox, rabies, cholera, athletes foot.

Nothing to worry about.

Listers_Cat 12:04 am 13 Sep 10

Ended up getting sconed in the head by one of the f*****s right near the oval at Palmerston. I *thought* I was moving away from the nest, but it turns out I was walking straight at it. I realised this a few second after the overweight bastard got its beak into me.

No stitches necessary, but I have a nasty bleeding bump on my head. I’m also starting to wonder what diseases the local Maggies carry in their saliva

farnarkler 11:01 pm 12 Sep 10

You’re spot on Ryan, we’ve been feeding the same family for years and they don’t swoop us. We do however get a tap on the sliding door when they’re hungry. They certainly live longer than I thought as one of our regulars has half a top beak.

Thumper 10:41 pm 12 Sep 10

my cat is terrified of the local magpies. they’ve given up dive bombing him and now just chase him around on the ground…

Phemie 8:54 pm 12 Sep 10

I hate it when those black and white pterodactyls hit you on the head with beak and claws extended. The ones that swoop cars and pedestrians normally don’t live too long, but if you are a cyclist, you are defenseless and they know it. I’ve seen the helmet video and know the myth – don’t wear a helmet and they won’t attack. Rubbish, it just hurts more. The one near Athlon Drive and Sulwood Drive goes for your ears and the side of your face and draws blood most times. I hate it.

The only protection is a black and white cat, which will whip all magpies into a hyperventilating swooping attack. I wonder if a decoy black and white toy cat would provide some protection, it seems very cruel to use a real live cat.

Ryan 5:33 pm 12 Sep 10

grumpyrhonda said :

A few years ago when I lived in Palmerston, I used to feed the local magpies left over mince. When swooping season came, they started to swoop me but I think they realised I was the one who gave them meat. They stopped.

I used to feed the ones at my old place and never got swooped walking down my street, whereas anyone else did.

Problem with feeding them is that once you start, they’ll expect it every day.

amber valence 4:05 am 12 Sep 10

One of the reasons some magpies swoop is that they are extremely long lived (anything up to 30+yrs and 20-25 is common) so they’ve had plenty of time to learn that people can be problems. However they are stunningly intelligent and quickly recognise who is or is not a threat, eg Grepyrhonda.

grumpyrhonda 9:03 pm 11 Sep 10

chris820 said :

My crackpot theory involves carrying about a small bit of beef mince. And throw it out when the bird starts the bombing run.
I haven’t tried it yet. But maybe then it’ll no longer see you as a threat.
I dunno. Worth a shot?

A few years ago when I lived in Palmerston, I used to feed the local magpies left over mince. When swooping season came, they started to swoop me but I think they realised I was the one who gave them meat. They stopped. Now living in a different suburb and haven’t had much to do with magpies lately.

Thumper 7:21 pm 11 Sep 10

The magpies that live at my place are way to fat and lazy to swoop anyone.

Although they do give the cats a hard time…

thy_dungeonman 6:42 pm 11 Sep 10

There is a very vicious one guarding the bike-path on the corner of melrose and hindmarsh drive, it always attacks me when I’m cycling and once it was pushing the helmet around on my head, lucky I had it on. I’m thinking perhaps spikes made from wire then maybe it will stop attacking me if it gets some back.

Kim F 6:14 pm 11 Sep 10

Dive bombed in Tidbinbilla today! No extra sound effects though ie, no squawking just the whoosh of the swoop !

DBCooper 6:07 pm 11 Sep 10

Pork Hunt said :

Thumper said :

I’m setting up the Bofors this weekend.

I prefer the Oerlikon 40mm flugzeug abwehr kanone myself…

I’m thinkin either not wear a helmet or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jPI5j3jjqo

trevar 2:25 pm 11 Sep 10

I was out gardening this morning, and one magpie kept coming and landing near me, watching for worms. I haven’t been swooped yet, but this fellow was particularly brave; at one stage s/he was within 50cm of my trowel, and wasn’t intimidated at all.

chris820 6:58 pm 10 Sep 10

My crackpot theory involves carrying about a small bit of beef mince. And throw it out when the bird starts the bombing run.
I haven’t tried it yet. But maybe then it’ll no longer see you as a threat.
I dunno. Worth a shot?

Rowdy 6:33 pm 10 Sep 10

Forget cable ties (and painting eyes on the back of the helmet, if you’ve been around long enough to remember that) – avoidance is the best strategy. Join the national campaign and put Canberra magpies on the map!

Australian Magpie Attacks – Spring 2010

I know – there’s nothing for Canberra this season but we’ve made a start here.

Be aware that you’ll need a Google account to add an entry to the map.

nexus6 6:29 pm 10 Sep 10

skate boards make good magpie bats

Jethro 6:23 pm 10 Sep 10

niftydog said :

Mother-in-law got swooped in the first week of August. I copped a half baked attempt the week after. The infamous CSIRO maggie had a few practice runs at me a few weeks back, but haven’t seen it lately.

Cables ties do nothing – they still swoop, they can still scare the bee-Jesus out of you (their main aim) and they can still make you fall off your bike. All cable ties achieve is to make you look like a complete muppet.

Besides, you haven’t been swooped until you’ve stumbled upon a baby plover that’s fallen out of it’s nest… personal experience…

+10
A plover attack is best avoided. Those birds are absolute psychopaths.

frank2112 6:07 pm 10 Sep 10

Dagget66 said :

I got Dive bombed about 6 times just next to the Lake Tuggeranong Skate park as I was riding by 2 weeks ago ….
All the Skater kids thought it was really funny … 🙂

Must have been the same one that had a go at me about 2 weeks ago as well. Must be anti cyclist as he doesn’t seem to go for the skaters

bobbatty 5:28 pm 10 Sep 10

niftydog said :

Mother-in-law got swooped in the first week of August. I copped a half baked attempt the week after. The infamous CSIRO maggie had a few practice runs at me a few weeks back, but haven’t seen it lately.

Cables ties do nothing – they still swoop, they can still scare the bee-Jesus out of you (their main aim) and they can still make you fall off your bike. All cable ties achieve is to make you look like a complete muppet.

Besides, you haven’t been swooped until you’ve stumbled upon a baby plover that’s fallen out of it’s nest… personal experience…

Yep and I got swept in 2009..

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