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What Magpies Swoop

By RiotPost 21 October 2009 39

In an effort to stop cyclists wearing the silly cable ties on their helmets which have become all the rage for the last 3 years some members of the CSIRO have done an exhaustive study on what magpies will swoop.

But the law says you still have to wear a helmet.

What’s Your opinion?


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What Magpies Swoop
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spinact 1:05 pm 29 Oct 09

grunge_hippy said :

that’s bullshit.

back in the day before helmets were law, i got swooped until i bled riding my bike. happened all the time.

scarred me for life!!!

I’ll second that…apart from the being scarred for life bit. I used to get swooped all the time riding to school years ago and it just taught me to ride faster through maggie territory. Hasn’t had any long term…….LOOK OUT! MAGGIE…… effect on me what so ever.

I don’t understand what all the fuss is about anyway. Recently there’s been a heap news stories/articles etc some making out almost like it’s a new phenomenon. It happens the same time every year.

I agree with the feeding comments, I have the local maggie family (now complete with chick) follow me around my yard when I’m digging etc and they get a feast of worms and bugs. Never been swooped in my neighborhood.

Anna Key is right, some maggies are just dickheads.

TheObserver 12:43 pm 22 Oct 09

From bd84:

“That reminds me that they need to do something about the plague of magpies that are living in City Walk area in the City. There are way too many magpies in that area than it can handle due. Their ability to scavange food from the eateries has allowed their numbers to grow, plus they crap absolutely everywhere”.

I would much prefer they leave the magpies alone and concentrate on the ever increasing numbers of the Spare Change franchise who are becoming ever more insistent and aggressive – but who, it must be conceded, go into alley ways for a poop or a pee….

Grrrr 12:33 pm 22 Oct 09

I recently saw a Magpie swoop a Postie riding his motorbike in the middle of heavy traffic on Northbourne Ave in Downer. Pretty sure Anna Key is right about their nature – they like to have fun, and picking fights is fun for some of them.

Head on over to youtube and check out the multiple magpie vids there, particularly one of a couple of kids in their paddock amusing themselve by dodging Plovers (search for “plubbers” I think!) The quality is terrible, but the kids diving onto the deck continuously for several minutes while the cameraman laughs like a Hynea is worth it.

no.6 10:29 am 22 Oct 09

wow – phil – and others involved… your bravery is outstanding !!!

what a great experiment – thanks so much i feel so much safer now xx

Gungahlin Al 6:34 am 22 Oct 09

che said :

I think people missed the “exhaustive study” point. It was just people mucking about with a camera in their own time, some of whom happen to work at the CSIRO.

Yes there seems to be a growing trend towards no sense of humour among posters here lately.

Postalgeek said :

I was disappointed that even with two video cameras attached to the helmet at one stage, they failed to provide any ‘slam cam’ action shots of the magpie coming in. I mean, if you’re going to go to the trouble of duct taping two cams to your helmet to ward off a sociopathic bird, you might as well press ‘record’.

And to add to that, the helmet smacks of next-generation Stack Hat. They need to account for a helmet’s dag factor. And any dwib will tell you that you never see anything in nature defend itself with Elmo eyes. Why? Because everything that has tried Elmo eyes has been eaten.

LOL – thanks for countering the humour vacuum. I too wondered about the slam cam footage.

Postalgeek 12:05 am 22 Oct 09

I was disappointed that even with two video cameras attached to the helmet at one stage, they failed to provide any ‘slam cam’ action shots of the magpie coming in. I mean, if you’re going to go to the trouble of duct taping two cams to your helmet to ward off a sociopathic bird, you might as well press ‘record’.

And to add to that, the helmet smacks of next-generation Stack Hat. They need to account for a helmet’s dag factor. And any dwib will tell you that you never see anything in nature defend itself with Elmo eyes. Why? Because everything that has tried Elmo eyes has been eaten.

Pandy 11:31 pm 21 Oct 09

Use a 2 kiloton nuke. Just to be sure.

misshelly 10:27 pm 21 Oct 09

It seems to me that the ones in more “used” areas don’t swoop – for example the entire loop around Lake Tuggeranong there are heaps of maggies but they seem to ignore you? I always take a little fold up umbrella just in case though lol

Maybe it’s because they are just used to constant people/dogs/bikes going past all the time??

Anna Key 10:24 pm 21 Oct 09

I have heard of someone who did a study on swooping behaviour and the conclusion was that although there is a territorial aspect to swooping, some magpies are just dickheads who want to pick a fight. Basically the equivalent of Mooseheads at 2am

bd84 9:11 pm 21 Oct 09

The so called study can be shot down pretty quickly, the majority of people have been been swooped with and without wearing a helmet.

Also, it is notnatural for a magpie to swoop anything other than animals or other birds and any magpie that does should be either relocated or euthanised. There are plenty of magpies around that do not swoop humans at all.

That reminds me that they need to do something about the plague of magpies that are living in City Walk area in the City. There are way too many magpies in that area than it can handle due. Their ability to scavange food from the eateries has allowed their numbers to grow, plus they crap absolutely everywhere.

fabforty 9:01 pm 21 Oct 09

old canberran said :

Great video and an unexpected conclusion. It would be nice if they did one on plovers which I reckon are worse than magpies.

True. God, that bloodcurdling screech ! I hate the things.

grunge_hippy 8:20 pm 21 Oct 09

that’s bullshit.

back in the day before helmets were law, i got swooped until i bled riding my bike. happened all the time.

scarred me for life!!!

che 6:15 pm 21 Oct 09

I think people missed the “exhaustive study” point. It was just people mucking about with a camera in their own time, some of whom happen to work at the CSIRO.

Gobbo 5:15 pm 21 Oct 09

The problem is not wearing a helmet will only work for the magpies that only attack helmets.

I knew a magpie that would only attack black dogs and no others.

It depends on the bird. That solution will not work everywhere. Trust me, or don’t. 🙂

eucy 5:01 pm 21 Oct 09

Regarding the comments about tax dollars and CSIRO: the people involved are a group of friends who did it in their own time on a public holiday, and some are actually from the ANU.

Thumper 3:26 pm 21 Oct 09

Magpies terrorise my cats even in their secure courtyard. I just feed them so they love me 😉

AngryHenry 3:07 pm 21 Oct 09

p1 said :

HILARIOUS!!!

Our tax dollars hard at work right there.

Actually, I think CSIRO made a profit last year. I know they made a lot of money from licencing their patent on WLAN technology.

Really? Good for them!

nexus6 2:46 pm 21 Oct 09

“In which case I would think that rather than pointing straight up (pointless when you think about it – they can’t get you through the helmet), people should mount them sticking out around the fringes to protect from strikes to the back of neck, ears and face…?”

yep your correct, magpies are welcome to smash into my helmet as fast as they can, its ones that come in from the side for my eyes and ears im worried about.

old canberran 2:15 pm 21 Oct 09

Great video and an unexpected conclusion. It would be nice if they did one on plovers which I reckon are worse than magpies.

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