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Swooping Magpies?

By Blosemvale - 6 October 2010 90

My Daughter catches the bus to and  from school every day and we have a long driveway (200m), and every day she has to walk with a stick held straight above her head so she can get to and from the house.

I have watched this maggie and I don’t know how to stop him from going after my daughter, (or the dogs).

So if anyone has any ideas let me know?

What’s Your opinion?


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90 Responses to
Swooping Magpies?
harryhaller 10:27 am 06 Oct 10

Jim Jones said :

Pommy bastard said :

Buy your daughter a tennis racquet.

Perhaps it’s best *not* to teach children that cruelty to animals is appropriate.

+1

Postalgeek 10:23 am 06 Oct 10

Can’t say it works for all magpies but it seems to work for the aggressive one stalking me on my bike at the moment. Magpies aren’t the bravest of birds; they tend to swoop from behind. So raise your hand head high and work it like you would a sock puppet, the snapping ‘mouth’ facing to the rear.

Whether the magpie sees some snapping snake or a mentally unbalanced target doesn’t really matter. The main thing is that it tends to back off a bit when I do that.

Do you look a bit of a dork doing it? Yes. As dorky as cable ties? I don’t think so. The trade-off is your choice.

trickyxr 10:20 am 06 Oct 10

http://www.tams.gov.au

Are Swooping Magpies Dangerous?

Yes they can be. When magpies swoop they beat their wings, clack their beaks and occasionally peck or scratch. Accidents can occur because people, particularly children, panic. Remember magpies are simply trying to protect their territory.

STAY CALM, protect your face and walk away quickly.
Aggressive Magpies

A magpie may become aggressive towards people because it has been harassed in the past. Please do not throw things at magpies or chase them. Stay away from their nests and young, especially birds that are learning to fly. This will help reduce magpie swooping.

Magpies usually swoop from behind, just clearing the top of your head. Some may strike the top of your head or ears with their beak or claws.

Particularly aggressive magpies can attack from any angle and should be reported to Territory and Municipal Services as soon as possible.

TAMS Can Help By:

* Giving more detailed advice about how you can live with magpies.
* Providing swooping bird warning signs.
* In extreme cases, and as a last resort, removing problem birds.

Call an Urban Wildlife Ranger

* Mitchell Depot (Northside) (02) 6207 2113
* Athllon Depot (Southside) (02) 6207 2087

trickyxr 10:16 am 06 Oct 10

Jim Jones said :

trickyxr said :

People also have the right to live without fear of attack from magpies.

Um … no. That’s just silly – you’ve extended the notion of ‘rights’ beyond the brink of absurdity. Not even the ACT human rights bill covers tripe like this.

UM……YES. Your wrong they have been removed before and will be removed again. Much the same as removing other wildelife that puts humans in danger, such as snakes or do you suggest that is tripe as well

niftydog 10:12 am 06 Oct 10

I have never had a magpie swoop me while I’ve been watching it. Don’t know what troll-sniffer’s objection is, but it works brilliantly for me.

I know it’s not always possible, but ideally you spy them before they go on the attack and just keep an eye on them as you walk through their territory; if they look like making a move, wave your arms above your head. Usually only the rabidly aggressive birds will take a chance at launching an attack whilst their target is watching them.

Jim Jones 10:07 am 06 Oct 10

Pommy bastard said :

Buy your daughter a tennis racquet.

Perhaps it’s best *not* to teach children that cruelty to animals is appropriate.

DeadlySchnauzer 10:06 am 06 Oct 10

The guberment will only remove a magpie if it is deemed aggressive. From what I can tell it has to be packing a couple of uzis to be deemed agressive, because behaviour such as “striking the top of your head or ears with their beak or claws” is deemed perfectly normal and not grounds for removal. (see http://www.tams.act.gov.au/play/pcl/wildlife/local/livingwithmagpies ).

We have a local one in a heavy foot traffic area that terrorises the local neighbourhood and goes straight for the head of anyone and everyone (seriously, we can hear the screams from our house throughout the day… it makes beefy defence personnel cower and scuttle past in fear). The guberment deemed that all that was needed was a couple of signs (it still attacks you well away from these).

Let us know if you have any luck getting one removed.

banjo 10:06 am 06 Oct 10

Ahh yes, as a child I had many a war story of magpie attacks. The anticipation of being swooped is exciting!

PBO 10:04 am 06 Oct 10

I’m afraid homeschool is the only solution if your child is that soft, I would recommend some cotton wool but apparently that is a gateway object to becoming a junkie.

Postalgeek 10:03 am 06 Oct 10

trickyxr said :

People also have the right to live without fear of attack from magpies.

People have the right to diddly squat when it comes to nature.

Jim Jones 10:01 am 06 Oct 10

trickyxr said :

People also have the right to live without fear of attack from magpies.

Um … no. That’s just silly – you’ve extended the notion of ‘rights’ beyond the brink of absurdity. Not even the ACT human rights bill covers tripe like this.

But anyways – I’m afraid there’s not much you can do to stop the magpie going after your daughter. They’re strange creatures, and if they swoop a person once, they’ll continue to target that person until their swooping is over. Probably a good idea to get your daughter to try feeding the magpies (in the swooping off-season) to build up a good relation and hope it holds over into swooping season.

I used to get swooped by 2 or 3 separate magpies while walking to school when I was a little tike, and I remember how scary it can be. On the positive side, you do learn how to deal with it and become somewhat inured.

troll-sniffer 9:58 am 06 Oct 10

Timely post. A mate of mine told me on the weekend that he cured a couple of swooping magpies by yelling at them (and I mean yelling top of his voice) as they swooped. They now sit in the tree and watch him pass by apparently.

I was hoping my local swooper would be in attendance yesterday to test the method but it was nowhere to be seen, so I will have to wait until it has another go to try this out.

Sounds like it’s worth a try. If not, I find just walking or riding head down twirling a stick above the head keeps them at bay. There’s only a couple of weeks left in the swooping season in most cases anyway.

The absolute worst thing you can do is acknowledge, stare down, or throw anything at a magpie. Ignore them and keep a stick handy to discourage swooping.

And if there’s a dog you can take, all the better, the magpie will normally go the dog in preference and few dogs mind too much.

Pommy bastard 9:58 am 06 Oct 10

Buy your daughter a tennis racquet.

busgirl 9:51 am 06 Oct 10

It’s only for a couple of months each year. The dogs will survive…and so will your daughter if she remembers to take her stick each day. It’s really no biggie…we all have stories from our younger days of how we survived the attacks of the local magpies..let your daughter have her own stories too.

trickyxr 9:49 am 06 Oct 10

Ring the government and they will remove it if it is to aggresive, People also have the right to live without fear of attack from magpies. When i was a kid at school i remember that a school mate died after having some sort of siezure while been attacked from a magpie. just ring canberra connect 132281

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