Swooping magpies in the news

To: "'Laurie Knight'" <>, "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Swooping magpies in the news
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2010 17:23:36 +1000
It brings out the usual set of opinions. This is what I wrote on the
comments area:

The fault lies not with a Magpie, which is simply responding to a
perceived threat and defending its nest. The fact that the threat is not
real (as suggested by one correspondent), is irrelevant, we are not
assessing birds' intelligence here. It is a consequence of instinct,
hormones and a bird that likes to behave like it is a boss. The fault
lies sadly with the existence of cars and bikes and most obviously the
fault lies with the apparent failure to educate the boy not to ride in
that place or failure to be aware of the risk from the bird and to be
more careful and not to ride into a dangerous situation out of fear or
surprise at an attack. Or maybe he was educated and tried to be silly
and out-ride a Magpie. The behaviour of the bird is predictable and by
avoiding the risk or keeping your head in a logical situation, is the
safest way. The consequence here was tragic but caused entirely by
collision with a car. Removing problem Magpies may help or may not. It
certainly won't stop collisions of bikes and cars which is the problem.
Some removed Magpies may find their way back but more to the point,
removal will simply allow another one to take over the territory. The
replacement bird may be benign or may be worse. Hard to predict. Many
Magpies are unaggressive. For information about the issues see the book
by Darryl Jones "Magpie Alert" ISBN 0-86840-668-6. 

Philip Veerman
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah  ACT  2902
02 - 62314041

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Laurie Knight
Sent: Friday, 10 September 2010 4:21 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: Swooping magpies in the news


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