The Cyclist's Defence Against Swooping Magpies

To: Scot Mcphee <>, "" <>
Subject: The Cyclist's Defence Against Swooping Magpies
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 12:45:18 +1000
Quite likely correct, so I wonder if "problem" magpies could be cured by 
regular food offerings delivered by bicycle.

On the other hand, who knows, maybe the "problem" magpies are those who have 
lost their fear of humans because of feeding.

Peter Shute

Scot Mcphee wrote on Friday, 21 August 2009 9:48 AM:

> I would like to add, in my *unscientific* opinion, that magpies which
> come in close contact with humans - ones that live around housing for
> example, simply are used to humans in proximity and often get fed (or
> can otherwise scavenge food from) the people they are in contact
> with.
> In other words, to these magpies, people are benign if not
> benefactors.
> On the other hand, I've ever only been swooped by magpies in *parks*
> (this is a totally unscientific sample of two magpies). Given a
> breeding magpie's territory is fairly small, only a few hundred
> square metres if I remember my Kaplan correctly, a magpie in a park
> is not likely to have close encounters with humans-as-benefactors,
> and the majority of humans it sees, are often wearing brightly
> coloured clothes and rushing about madly from one end to the other,
> something I think that can be easily interpreted as aggressive
> behaviour. Plus you've got the various categories of kids out for
> mischief, which might include climbing trees near nests, running
> after birds on the ground, and chucking rocks or other missiles.
> Ergo, to these magpies, humans are fearful aggressors to be escorted
> off the premises as soon as possible.

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