Attacking Magpie-larks

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Attacking Magpie-larks
From: "Birding Services Brisbane" <>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 23:49:37 +1000
For about 10 years I was used by Q'ld NPWS to deal with attacking birds around Brisbane. This usually involved capture and translocation. During that period there were about 10 Magpie-larks (all males) and all were attacking peoples faces and usually the eyes. One at Noosa, Q'ld had damaged the eyes of at least 10 people. The birds were all in very public places and where there was food involved. All were very used to being around people and showed no fear.

My view after looking at the circumstances in each case was that they were deliberately attacking the eyes and I believe that it was to do with reflections. Some of the early victims of a couple of birds had worn glasses which may have increased the reflection factor.

There were some pretty amazing birds among them. QPWS has a policy of 'capture and translocate' and not to euthanase birds. I had a couple of birds return from well over one hundred kilometres away. Both took several months to return and immediately started to attack once again.

Roy Sonnenburg
Birding Services Brisbane


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