birding-aus Magpie attacks - 'demographics'

Subject: birding-aus Magpie attacks - 'demographics'
From: "Lee O'Mahoney" <>
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 10:35:40
Hi all,

I've also heard of people trying to protect themselves with eyes on their
hat/helmet - not sure of the success rate, though.  I've also heard of one
cyclist holding up an open umbrella while cycling through the Kew danger
zone - no doubt maggies with strong combat skills were able to get around
this in time.

For those of you who are interested in the 'demographics' of magpie
attacks, an article by Nicholas Cilento and Darryl Jones from Griffith Uni
was published in the June 1999 edition of Emu journal.

The research concluded that most magpies that attack humans nest close to
humans and are regularly exposed to them.  Attacks were less common in
rural areas.  97.5% of human attacks were made by super-diligent fathers.  

Unfortunately for us, it seems that when the birds successfully drive a
human 'predator' away from the nest area, they receive positive
reinforcement and are likely to increase the level of their attacks.
Perhaps Ray Cotsell's out-staring technique is the best thing after all.  

Also, the maggies learn to recognise particular people, lose their fear of
them and  and engage in even more aerial warfare - not good news for people
regularly passing through maggie territory.

Good luck!


Lee O'Mahoney

Ms Lee O'Mahoney
Research and Conservation Development Coordinator
Birds Australia
415 Riversdale Rd
Hawthorn East  VIC  3123
Phone:  03 9882 2622
Fax:    03 9882 2677
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