RE: birding-aus Digest, Vol 41, Issue 27

To: <>
Subject: RE: birding-aus Digest, Vol 41, Issue 27
From: James Lambert <>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 16:19:14 +1000

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.

Hi all fellow magpie dodgers,

So far it seems no-one has mentioned the ever-reliable "magpie stick". Stone 
the crows, surely, every fair dinkum Aussie knows what a magpie stick is? For 
the OS readers ;)

A magpie stick is a stick about an arm's length long which is easily picked up 
from the ground just about anywhere in the Australian bush and then is carried 
over the shoulder so that a long section of it protrudes out the back past your 
head at a 45 degree angle. Guarranteed to keep even the most vicious magpie 
nest-defender at bay.

A number of years back there was a magnificently aggressive magpie between 
Macquarie Uni and Macquarie Shopping Centre (North Ryde, Sydney), who brooded 
over the most direct path to the shops. He got every single passerby, without 
fail.  And he was there every year. Personally I was attacked three times over 
the years and blood was drawn on each occasion (always at the beginning of the 
season - a violent way to discover magpie season has started).

Most people just avoided that path during the season, but others simply 
employed the magpie stick. In fact, at both ends of the trail one could find a 
pile of suitable sticks waiting to be picked up and transported to the other 
end. The piles remained about the same size as the traffic was essentially two 
way - if you were going shopping, you were probably going to return to work 

Using a magpie stick while cycling is more difficult, but not impossible for 
the seasoned rider in a non-car area.

There you have it - the magpie stick - one of the great unrecognised Australian 



Use Windows Live Messenger from your Hotmail inbox Web IM has arrived!

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • RE: birding-aus Digest, Vol 41, Issue 27, James Lambert <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU