Attacking Magpies - Rafael Furniss

Subject: Attacking Magpies - Rafael Furniss
From: (Shane Raidal)
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996 17:53:37 +0800
>1) Capture of the birds, secondaries clipped or removed to inhibit
>dive-bombing. It didn't seem to affect their flying capabilities. Would
>clipping their primaries be a death sentence for them?

   By clipping the last primary feathers you will reduce the length of the 
wing and the bird will not be able to fly.   So don't do that!

>2) Shooting the birds. Solves the problem but is a little drastic.

        This should only be the very last option.

>3) Waving a bicycle pump in a random pattern around the head. Keeps them
>at a metre away.

        DON'T DO THIS   - it just stirs the birds up more!

My suggestion is :

Wear a wide-brimmed hat (or helmet) and sunglasses and stand very still 
without moving near where the birds are known to attack.  Don't show any 
sign of fear if the bird swoops  (but shield your eyes).  The bird will 
probably bomb you for a few times and then give-up.  If so move about 10 
metres one way and stand still for a few more minutes.....  you get the 
picture.  Try and get a few more people involved in this behaviour over the 
period of a week or so.  The birds should learn that you pose no threat.  
However,  if they are an established pair that have been stirred up too much 
in the past you can probably forget it.    

Does anyone have other comments ??


Dr Shane Raidal BVSc PhD MACVSc (Avian Health)
Lecturer in Veterinary Pathology
School of Veterinary Studies                
Murdoch University                 phone:  +61 9 360 2418
Perth,WA, 6150                            fax:  +61 9 310 4144  

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