birding-aus Magpie defences while cycling?

Subject: birding-aus Magpie defences while cycling?
From: "Martin O'Brien"<>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 09:00:08 +1000
Irene mentions the magpie season approaching.  In suburban Melbourne
(Australia) maggies are only a problem in certain areas and at specific
times of the year.   Specifically Spring (September onwards in Melbourne).

The "famous" Peel St., Kew maggie used to attack like clockwork each year
on the 1st September.  It became adept at getting its claws through, under
or around helmets and drew blood on a number of people including myself.
Interesting sensation - feeling the warmth of blood running down behind
your ear while trying to out-cycle a maggie!  The local council used to put
a sign up during spring warning passers-by of the dangers.

Most things I tried (including a flag) failed to reduce the impact of this
magpie but my brother has tried pieces of clear "pet-bottles" taped to his
helmet which has stopped the blows from hitting ears and head.  Another
technique is to use mesh from orange bags and tape this to the helmet edge.
Haven't tried this yet but it could work [or alternatively could entangle a
mad maggie!]

A useful web site for the Australian Magpie season can be found at:


This is Environment ACTs web pages and was functioning ok in Feb. this

Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer
Scientific Advisory Committee
Threatened Species Program
Department of Natural Resources and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde.,
East Melbourne,  3002

tel: +61 3 9412 4567
fax: +61 3 9412 4586

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