audible warning of swooping magpie

Subject: audible warning of swooping magpie
From: "John Leonard" <>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 09:39:26 +0000
I have been swooped on my way to work for the last month or so (this is
while cycling), and this prompts me to an observation.

Each time I have entered the territory of the swooping magpie I have heard
the angry 'Yeow Yeow' call  before it has attacked. This hasn't always
helped me to predict which direction the bird was going to come from, but I
have never been swooped without hearing that call in the preceding few

In the experience of birding-aus members, do magpies always give audible
warning before swooping? If so, it might be a useful thing to include in
public information about magpie attacks, as even a second's warning allows
one to crouch lower, or, for a cyclist, to slow down?as it is those keyed in
to the call are at a distinct advantage. Public information in the ACT, at
any rate, is pretty hopeless; the standard notice refers to a "Swooping
Bird", without even getting specific!

John Leonard

John Leonard (Dr)
PO Box 243, Woden, ACT 2606, Australia

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