The Cyclists Defence Against Swooping Magpies

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Subject: The Cyclists Defence Against Swooping Magpies
From: "Arwen B. Ximenes" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 19:00:40 +1000
also my two bob's worth

I remember well the short stretch of path between Macquarie Uni and Macquarie 
shopping centre (North Ryde, Sydney). Not far into my first swooping season I 
quickly lost all inhibitions and made very good use of the piles of magpie 
sticks, and although I was never swooped when I had the presence of mind to use 
them, I nonetheless hotfooted it through that area as the maggie there was 
indeed very vigilent and reliable.

Another maggie in the area was nearly as protective of his nest, and on my way 
home walking past the university sports centre I one day saw a fellow walking 
up the middle of the road waving his hand above his head - being early in the 
season I didn't cotton on until a couple of minutes later I reached the same 
spot and was cornered by the magpie under a pine tree and didn't have the guts 
to move for a few moments, when I bolted home, furiously waving my hand above 
my head! Well, it worked, so perhaps cyclists could use that as a strategy too? 
Perhaps a little unstable, but it seems to work just as well as the stick.

My husband came off his bike in Canberra as a result of a magpie pre-emptive 
strike - the damage wasn't pretty, but at least he was not riding on the road. 
I have also had a friend turn up at my house with blood all over her from a hit 
near her ear. Whatever the reason for the "attacks", they are pretty real and 
scary when they manage to make a hit.

Safe cycling!



Arwen Blackwood Ximenes
Lawson, Blue Mountains, NSW

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