The Cyclist's Defence Against Swooping Magpies

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: The Cyclist's Defence Against Swooping Magpies
From: "Colin R" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 16:00:23 +1000
Hi all

I find this strange - I have been cycling, several times a week, to work
since 1991 from the southern suburbs of Brisbane to Springhill (north
side) and, currently, to the city. I have been swooped by a magpie once
in all that time, not far from my home. The entire episode lasted about
5 seconds and caused me no more concern than riding through a puddle of
water - in fact that is more of a hassle!
 In most cases cyclists are going too fast and are almost immediately
 out of range of the magpie's territory or death from the sky! I am
 amused by the folk who ride around with, as Laurie described, wire ties
 sticking out of their heads - if your cycle helmet is not strong enough
 to defy a magpie - get a new helmet, cause it won't last long if you
 land on your head in the road! 
Now, if they were Wedge-tailed Eagles or Skuas (aka Jagers) it might be
a different story! But let's get real here - they rarley actually touch
you and I think are more surprised themselves when they do!

Good biking and birding to all!


On Tue, 18 Aug 2009 19:36 +1000, "L&L Knight" <>
> One approach is to fit a legionnaires style helmet cover.  The  
> Queensland Cancer Council sells brightly coloured covers that have a  
> long visor at the front and a substantial flap at the back.  You can  
> further magpie proof your face by wearing wrap around sunglasses (you  
> can get safety sunnies if you want shatterproof ones).  I have also  
> seen cyclists who have fitted wire ties to their helmets to make it  
> difficult for the maggies to swoop/land on the helmet.
> The bottom line, is that a properly attired cyclist can ignore  
> swooping pies and ride steadily out of their territories.
> Regards, Laurie.
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  Colin Reid
So many birds, so little time...... 

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