The Cyclist's Defence Against Swooping Magpies

To: "Colin R" <>
Subject: The Cyclist's Defence Against Swooping Magpies
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 14:23:42 +0800 (WST)
G'day Colin et al.

Your experience is one of luck I suspect.  In Canberra when I rode along a
couple of the major streets every day I was harassed by magpies each
spring.  One drew blood when it raked my cheek below my helmet.  The risk
of being unsettled enough to veer into traffic is not negligable.

Here in Hamilton there is a regular nest half way up a steep hill I can't
avoid.  I go up this hill slower than some and the offending bird has
enough time for 3-4 swoops.  Again I reckon the danger of crashing is
greater than the direct danger from the bird.

I think a Brisbane cyclist lost an eye to a magpie a few years ago.

Unfortunately, from the bird's point of view we are leaving his territory
as a result of the attack and this reinforces the behaviour.  It doesn't
seem to be inherited fortunately.  If the agressive male is killed or
otherwise leaves, the new male may or may not be agressive.

I've not been swooped yet this season but it won't be long.



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