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That way cyclists and other members of the public can avoid troublesome birds! Whilst most magpie swooping occurs between August and October, some magpies have been … but they always catch you by surprise. when a magpie swoops someone. That said, whether it’s because I moved from my old country town to the city or that I’m no longer a child I haven’t been swooped since… except for a single attack from a feisty noisy miner. If you spot a magpie at a nest or are being swooped, the advice is to stay calm and to leave the area, Sean Dooley from Birdlife Australia told Sunrise. By Ben Westcott, CNN. However because most bureaucrats don’t ride bikes and hardly get swooped in any other context ….so don’t appreciate the problem a regular cyclist faces. Known as ‘swooping season,’ magpie attacks soar in September-October as the birds breed and guard their nests. We are of course talking about magpie swooping season, and standing on the precipice of it, here's what you should know about what's coming. Swooping here occurs 8 months of the year, well outside of breeding season. Explanations for this all-too familiar behaviour are legion, with passionate advocates for more plausible theories such as: While there is a lot we don’t yet know about this phenomena, all of the research conducted to date points clearly to the protective parent hypothesis. Magpies swoop because they…. true story. In the evening, the shadows were long and I could see its shadow approaching my head. I never once thought that taking my helmet off would work as a form of dissuasion. ... Picture: Magpie Alert Source:Supplied. The helmets freak them out and will endure them to attack you longer and further outside their territory. Only time they didnt get swoop was when he took off the helmet, they dont like the colour, or the shine of it…. By subscribing you agree to our Terms of Use and says only one in 20 male magpies will swoop to protect their incubating mates, and eight out of ten people in magpie territory will never get swooped. Which “close relatives” are these, I wonder? You could also try a biohazard suit, a full head gas helmet, or an astronaut helmet would also work well. There is a pair that have raised chicks here for 6 years and because we feed them occasionally (they like mince) they have never attached anyone walking down the street. Your web browser is no longer supported. Darryl Jones is Deputy Director of the Environmental Futures Centre at Griffith University. So what is going on with these otherwise favourite Aussie icons? Magpies seem to have very good memories and have attacked the same people over subsequent seasons and others they just leave alone. This is not the case. My strategy has been to, as soon as one swoops me, to stare straight at him (usually accompanied by a few choice words) and don’t look away for a moment. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1895402801/swoop-away-helmet-brim-for-swooping-birds-and-sun, Open your eyes you pinheads dont get the magpies and other birds ticked off at you for being careless. At least Life Hacker knows what a Magpie looks like! Just be thankful that only around 5% of magpies attack humans otherwise the carnage inflicted in Hitchcock’s “The Birds” would look pretty lame in comparison. Ive been swooped hundreds ofs times so I know what Im talking about. attempts to change the magpies’ behaviour. While it's no doubt cold comfort for people who have a territorial magpie on their block, swoopers are actually quite rare. We used to use a super-soaker in our neighbourhood when we were kids. paint eyes on the back of your bike helmet, hold up a branch etc.) I’m beginning to panic already. Australian man suffers double eye injury in magpie swooping attack after 'conversation' turns ugly ... one birdlife expert warned Victoria’s magpie swooping season might … They will come and take food from our hands. Have a safe spring. Where it is possible for an aggressive magpie to know people as individuals, providing small food snacks (cat food) in an obvious way such that the bird can associate the treats with the person often lead to complete cessation of hostilities. Im not sure who comes up with all this nonsense abut how they remember faces-its a load of rubbish. It is a terrifying and dangerous experience especially when I’m riding. They're trying to keep the chicks safe and get the threat out of the territory. I am thinking to open my umbrella as soon as i get off the tram…. Magpies protecting their young Magpies do not remember faces-if that were true then they wouldn’t attack the first time round as they could not remember a face they’ve never seen before. 3. I tried the same approach. If I find a grub I throw it to them. They nest in the tree out front of the house and attack you as soon as you walk out the front door! I can’t find the video now (at work) but there is a group who tested this and they ended up with either taking off the helmet or a novelty afro wig from a $2 shop stopped a magpie from swooping. Basic prevention tactics include carrying an open umbrella, or wearing sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat. A bit of rat poison mixed in and the attacks ceased completely. It protects & shields against swooping bird attacks & the harsh Australian sun. Birdlife Australia’s national public affairs manager, Sean Dooley, said magpies can recognise upwards of 100 people on normal occasions. A police officer in Queensland was reminded that magpie swooping season has started in Queensland, Australia. Wrong! Tomorrow I am likely to add more hotspots on our bike ride. The bane of my childhood! The Academy suggests, seemingly counter-intuitively, that getting closer to magpies may help. An Australian man almost had his eye plucked out by a vicious magpie amid a worse-than-usual “swooping season.” James Glindemann, 68, had to … in the video below. And when especially dim-witted humans — by continuing toward the nest — don’t seem to get the hint, the intensity of the message can become more and more pronounced. It is certainly the most significant human-wildlife conflict in the towns and cities of this country. He urged parents to make sure their children were "magpie aware" - with resources on the. Magpie still got a piece of his eyebrow, When a magpie swoops me I find its nest and destroy it…. 1. September is the peak of Australia’s own version of “home-grown terrorism” (as memorably described to me by a distraught and bleeding school principal, valiantly attempting to protect his pupils), when a small but conspicuous proportion of magpies throughout the country begin to attack otherwise innocent passersby. When Im digging things up theyre following closely behind pecking through the dirt. The magpie at home we just ended up feeding……now it comes over and gives you a worm if you’re sitting outside, it also seems to show off its babies to you, we call it frank. adj Everytime! “what if you had a wig on over a helmet” … hahaha, not only would magpies avoid you, but so would everything else 😛. ; broad-minded; liberal, Dammit you ninja’d me I was about to say that 😛. And you can track what swoopers other people have spotted online at, 'Major catastrophe': Surgeon calls for hernia mesh ban, Couple's mass shooting triggered by office Christmas party dispute, Urgent alert for train passengers as NSW records first case in weeks, Australia's vaccine options all 'promising', says PM, Jogger scratched and stalked by kangaroo in 'nightmare' attack, Koala makes itself at home in South Australian woman's Christmas tree after 'wandering in', Animal attacks taking terrible toll in Kashmir - one species in particular. Roads and footpaths are for human use. 1. universal; relating to all men; all-inclusive Can I just avoid being swooped? With my luck I’d be fined $80 for not wearing a personal safety device. If they think they’re defending their nests, then making a point of seeking out and destroying the nest any time you’re attacked would probably change the local birds’ behavior. Magpies can hear the sound of grubs and worms under the ground. Thankfully these extreme birds are relatively rare but account for the majority of the seriously dangerous. Not all Magpies swoop in breeding season. Enter your email below. Finally, an unconventional — and controversial — approach should be mentioned, simply because, in the right circumstances, it really does work. If i did that, he just left me alone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wHreVKgOT4. My local paper was using an image of a Butcher Bird and was calling it a Magpie. If you befriend the magpies around your house/street by feeding them during the year, they will remember you and wont swoop you during swooping season. And if you feed them in the off season they don’t swoop you when it’s magpie season …. I have been swooped regularly over the years – always thought it was the colour of my hair (red-ish). “with remarkably few being less catholic in their preferences.” – Crazy Christian loving bird or nobody wants to associate themselves as a christian any more?…. Magpie Swooping Season. Wear a bike helmet – still get swooped. Dr Kelly explained that magpies usually attack in spring but could be swooping ahead of schedule due to a sudden change in temperature. A small percentage of birds become highly aggressive during breeding season from late August to late November – early December or occasionally late February to late April – early May, and will swoop and sometimes attack passersby. Watch the brand new series Saved By The Bell now on Stan. If you're not willing to walk your bike through the swooper's territory, then definitely stock up on those googly eyes. It’s commonplace for some of us to recall the blur of wings and the click of that beak with a strange level of nostalgia, but it is sobering to appreciate that some of these attacks cause real damage and trauma. A North Canterbury woman is warning people to keep an eye on the skies after being left startled and bloodied by a magpie attack. The way Magpies get portrayed, you’d think every one of them in Australia swooped! According to Dr Darryl Jones, only around 10% of the magpie population attack and he also says, ‘savage magpie attacks’ are … Our street is swooping-free. You will see them in videos going straight for the helmet. Filmed & produced by Dean Osland for the Newcastle Herald on bike camera by Darren Pateman They are a wild animal. During nesting, you barely see the … Anyone concerned about swooping magpies in their area should contact the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055. This may sound stupid but it works, cover your helmet with a wig or faux fur (sometimes fabric works too). To improve your experience, The start of spring heralds a lot of welcome changes for Australia - warmer weather, longer evenings, and of course the, annual debate about when Christmas treats should arrive in shops. What is the use in protecting you head from the magpies but leaving it vulnerable to the road in case of accident (I do realize that you are not officially advocating not wearing a helmet but that is probably the effect it will have). They might hate helmets, but it doesn’t stop them from swooping runners or walkers. Bird experts fear there is a chance magpies will view people wearing face masks as a threat and swoop at them. Here are some tips on how to survive. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Guess Ive never been considered a threat by them. At my fathers house, we had a massive magpie family at the property ( only 9 acres) and they never attacked us or any visitors because we would leave some mince meat out for them. Spring is widely known as the ‘swooping season’ in Australia when magpies attack humans and other birds if they stray too close while their fledglings hatch and nest, Reuters reported. In some cases on a 5k ride you can swooped 6-10 times. The problem is, looking backwards while riding the bike away isn’t exactly a safe thing to do either. ... rather than a deliberate attack. I’ve been harassed by a Maggie for the last two years on the way to work around spring time. catholic used as an adjective with a lower case c. catholic [ˈkæθəlɪk ˈkæθlɪk] But those first balmy days also portend a far darker time, when the nation's stocks of googly eyes and pipe cleaners run low in an attempt to outfox an avian menace. … Or possibly, @brodiek was being, you know … ironic? I know the location of some angry, angry birds. The department says - obviously enough - the easiest way to avoid being swooped is to change your walking route, as magpies will only defend the territory within 50 metres of the nest. I live in Bendigo :(. Perhaps most surprisingly, a clear majority of pedestrian-specialists actually targeted a very small number of specific individuals, typically just one or two people. Otherwise, any method that may negate contact with the head is worth trying: sticks, hats, helmets and umbrellas. Mr Orel said it was important to remember that the magpies were only acting on instinct. Share to Facebook It’s clearly because you’re a goose, ya goose! This article was originally published at The Conversation, and has been revised and updated since its original publication date. So is it legal to kill one of these angry birds before it pecks an eye out? As the app is interactive, the more people who use it, the more people will benefit. I gave you an up vote but I just want you to know that is soo wrong…….yet if I had a shotgun…….. i gave you a down vote as I just want you to know that is soo wrong……. Being so common and virtually ubiquitous in Australia, this phenomenon has lead to the development of lots of counter-measures including: Such tactics can be roughly placed into one of three categories: The success of these categories can be equally roughly evaluated as “futile”, “well worth trying” and “sensibly obvious”, respectively. Watch the magpie whilst walking away quickly – magpies are less likely to swoop if you look at them. Male magpies are adapted to drive away potential predators, and are especially when the chicks are vulnerable nestlings. While these avian assessments seems to be false (most victims are unlikely to have eaten a baby magpie! Magpies tend to swoop for about six weeks as their mate incubates the eggs and while the chicks are very young. Some swoop sites are less than 400m apart. I got attacked by a magpie today and injured my ear. Now, I’m no ornithologist, (had to look that one up) as those of you who have read my post Oh No! https://itunes.apple.com/tr/app/swoopers/id579212687?mt=8. It's also safer to travel in groups, as magpies prefer to swoop on lone people. The app is available in the Appstore, and we are on Facebook as well. Here’s proof of the daily trauma we face. Specifically, befriending them. However, during other times of the year, they usually stay calm. If it's attacked you before probably a good idea to use an alternative route next season! Friend of mine was riding a bike with helmet on. So if not wearing a helmet stops the attack for bikers, what if you had a wig on over a helmet, or different color helmet in case the colors were attracting them. Best of luck dude! Yep thats right. Or take the advice in this song I wrote after being swooped by a Magpie. }. Ive never been swooped by a magpie in my life. Video: Australian Magpie Dangerous Attack During attack, these birds would mostly strike on the head of the victim with their beaks and claws. Any advice for the dropbear season? we have butcher birds that fly and attack the magpies! Magpie swooping season has begun with the warm advent of spring. It’s only when it’s spelled with an uppercase ‘C’ that it becomes a noun and has a religious meaning. Magpie season: Why Australians hide from birds every spring. Swoop Away is an Australian designed brim specifically for use with bicycle For some reason, certain males (around 10 per cent of breeding pairs) have come to view humans as serious threats to their chicks and act according. festooning ones bike helmet with a forest of spikes or rear-facing eyes, as demonstrated (unsuccessfully!) We are of course talking about magpie swooping season, and standing on the precipice of it, here's what you should know about what's coming. Aggressive Magpies will swoop regardless. But here are a few tricks to get you through swooping season unscathed - and a few classic tactics that don't work. I agree. [ … Had one near the front of my uni and i just had to keep looking at him for a good 200 meters. He receives funding from Brisbane City Council, the Queensland State Government and the Australian Research Council. Property News: 12 edibles to plant this spring - domain.com.au. Privacy Policy. Aggressive Magpies near main intersections or on any road corridor are a hazard-as one has to take their eyes off the road to avoid being struck (ie neck injury) or clawed- when one also has to watch out for traffic, potholes, and the occasional snake in the warmer months. 2. Magpie season. Some one has to first get seriously injured or killed before appropriate action is taken by the authorities it seems……….. You’re riding your bike, which means you have a helmet on, which means even if they peck you it won’t do anything. That being said, i wouldnt suggest doing this if you are riding a bike at high speeds 😛. We’ve found over the years that the only way to stop them is to knock their nest out of the tree as soon as they start building it. I’ve heard they are really good at remembering and recognising faces. 8 months of the year. No I cannot avoid them, it is the rail trail. I live in Magpie Hell. yes, works for me too. It’s called SWOOPERS (obviously) and it’s an interactive app that allows people to upload information as to swooping hotspots, or if not uploading hotspots, it’s a map that pinpoints swooping locations. the traditional eyes on the back of the hat (or ice cream container). One of the numerous unexpected findings of research I’ve been a part of was the extent to which those magpies that are aggressive specialise on particular groups of people. Given that most adult magpies, once they settle down with a mate, almost never leave their territory, it is highly likely that they know and recognise all the people that they share this space with (an ability well established among close relatives). Don’t let your pet attack birds as this may trigger swooping. Even rarer are attacks designed to wound rather than intimidate. It is mostly the male magpie doing so. But I can tell you ours are aggressive. As a regular cyclist there are no alternative swoop free routes to use in this area at peak swooping season…which lasts 4 plus months here. To be honest, they got us more than we got them. No need to shoot yourself – it will all be over by the end of Spring. I’ve felt a little sick this time of year ever since, as i’m walking to work or home a little bit of my brain is tensing up, ready for the click and smack in the back of the head. Magpie attacks aren't as common as you (and the media) might think. Report back if you survive, otherwise I’ll see you in the funny pages. The good news is that a single magpie will swoop for only about six weeks until their chicks are fledged and leave the nest, so magpie breeding season is usually all over by November. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wHreVKgOT4, http://alternateroute.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/The_Magpie_Swat.mp3, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1895402801/swoop-away-helmet-brim-for-swooping-birds-and-sun, territoriality — they are trying to keep us out of their patch, testosterone poisoning — they are so pumped with male juice they can’t help themselves. I left town because of him (Not really, I left for other reasons, but I don’t miss the tourment at all). And as an extra note of caution, the South Australian Department of the Environment warns that magpies can remember you as a threat for up to five years. Australians are warned every year that magpie swooping season has arrived, with a special website tracking locations and incidents of swooping attacks. Spring is the season of rebirth, but it’s also the season of swooping magpies. if (typeof siteads.queue !== 'undefined') { Logical huh? Just kidding. I guess that this wouldn’t work for me being that I have a shiny bald head. So I can’t tell you whether our Australian magpies are any more aggressive than anybody else’s magpies. This strategy has worked very well for us too. There are provisions in law for Magpies that are aggressive and present a safety risk to be removed or culled. Magpies are not endangered species, but are protected. Just make sure they have a bad regular season then they won’t show up in September… oh wait the animal not the footy team yeah i just send my cat after them, I am more scared of those Masked Lapwings in Tassie they are ferocious things that have swooped me on more than 10 occasions. Don’t you see what’s happened?! Bad news for cyclists though - magpies are almost certain to react to anything that large and fast-moving as if it's a predator. Cant look any more stupid than cable ties, fake eyes, coloured pipe cleaners stuck to it. http://alternateroute.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/The_Magpie_Swat.mp3. It's officially Spring, which means the return of the dreaded Magpie season. Overall, it's really better to try to make friends. Using Protective Measures Walk in groups to discourage attacks. They’ll still hover over you until you get away from their little patch, but so far none of them have had a go. ), the resulting swoops and attacks seem to be an attempt to drive intruders away from the nest tree. Here’s how you can protect yourself. It's that time of year again. I suspect Darryl’s referring to Northern hemisphere magpies, which aren’t at all closely related….

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