Anti Magpie devices

Anti Magpie devices

Postby jaznit » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:06 am

Hi all

I'm keen to hear your stories of what anti magpie devices work - and which ones don't.

The cable ties seem like the most common option and from the few reviews I found they seem to stop the bird hitting you but not the swoop itself. Can you share your experiences ?

Has anyone tried getting a sticker of eyes or something similar and putting that one the top or back or a helmet? Or a helmet with a picture of a face on the top?

I'd love to hear from you guys as generally magpie season stops me from riding at all and as I just bought my first road bike (upgrade from the mountain bike with road tires) and I want to get out and ride more.

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by BNA » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:13 am

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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby g-boaf » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:13 am

Food is the best device. Bribe them with food!

If you see them on the ground - toss them a few bits of food.

Next thing to try is Kask Bambino:

http://m.cellbikes.com.au/Kask-Bambino- ... ial-Helmet

:wink:
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby TonyMax » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:23 am

jaznit wrote:Has anyone tried getting a sticker of eyes or something similar and putting that one the top or back or a helmet? Or a helmet with a picture of a face on the top?

Yes I have and it literally wasn't worth the paper it was printed on, the persistent one near work didn't seem to care and the one near home even got me on the neck just below the ear. I was "watching" them with a set of cartoony eyes stuck to the top of my helmet at the rear, and it didn't do anything.

I've changed my lunch time riding route now and I can still get 3 laps of ~7km in without going near any of their territory (there are three or four in the area).
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby DoogleDave » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:35 am

It seems that stick-on eyes/faces on top of your helmet will only work on a very small percentage of birds - most won't care and eventually realise they're not really being watched (they're not stupid).

As for the cable ties, this will deter them from making contact on your helmet as they don't want to hit their wings on the cable ties (again, they are not stupid). However, one down-side to this method is that the aggressive/persistent birds can perch on a riders shoulder and have fun with their ears, eyes, face, neck etc. Again, the percentages of this occuring are probably low but it is a possibility.

As far as I know, the ONLY sure-fire way to avoid being swooped is to find an alternate route until breeding season is over (late Nov/early Dec - hopefully).

If you are swooped, try to focus on where you are riding, avoid panicking and pedal out of their territory at a steady and safe speed.
Once you cross their perceived boundary they will turn around andleave you alone.

Of course, it is our instinct to turn around to see where they are and try to swipe at them to scare them off - this won't work and puts you in danger of coming off your bike.
You are far better to get down low on your bike and ride out of the area....and if the bird is particularly aggressive, stop, get off the bike and walk out of the area (protecting your head/face).

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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby sblack » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:37 am

g-boaf wrote:Food is the best device. Bribe them with food!

If you see them on the ground - toss them a few bits of food.
This is the best option. Magpies have the ability to differentiate and remember people, once they see you as a friend instead of a potential predator you're fine.

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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby g-boaf » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:47 am

sblack wrote:
g-boaf wrote:Food is the best device. Bribe them with food!

If you see them on the ground - toss them a few bits of food.
This is the best option. Magpies have the ability to differentiate and remember people, once they see you as a friend instead of a potential predator you're fine.

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And they love it too. Saw one at Mascot in the council car park, it saw my chicken on skewers and was watching me carefully in between screeching at the other nearby magpie. So I threw it a little bit. ;) Boy was I the favourite thing in the world for that magpie. :lol: It decided that it should have more too.

For all the anger and horror of those birds, they can be glorious, wonderful things too. :)
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby biker jk » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:37 pm

Get yourself an afro wig. It's the only thing that works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES_n4DgJDHs
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby rebilda » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:53 pm

I was just up in the Hunter valley for the weekend, on a end of season, soccer team trip.

We all had hire Bikes on Saturday and rode through the wineries (though we only went into all the Pubs). When we were leaving the Wild Brumby Schnapps place, there was a particularly aggressive Magpie, patrolling the section of road, out front, along the main road.

At the time, i was wearing a Zebra Onsie (dont ask!!). The maggie didnt come near me, but the guy next to me got smashed!

My perspective is that if you are wearing some sort of eye covering and a helmet, and you dont look around and start waving your arms like a lunatic, what is going to happen to you?
just let 'em smack your helmet a bit and keep riding - or wear a Zebra Onsie at all times......it's your choice 8)
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby g-boaf » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:50 pm

Hey Rebilda - it was probably so shocked by your attire it didn't know what to do! :lol: :shock:
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby rebilda » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:49 pm

I was all Black & white!

I might have looked like a really big Magpie, on a bike :)

The guy next to me got smashed hard!.....(Funny!) :lol:
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby nescius » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:25 pm

g-boaf wrote:Food is the best device. Bribe them with food!

If you see them on the ground - toss them a few bits of food.

At one stage I had 8 regular magpies that would turn up for food every day, it got to the point where they would happily come inside the house and stand next to the fridge to wait for their mince. That was years ago now and I have since moved house, but I never had any trouble from any magpies during the period that I was feeding them.

These days I just wave my hand above my head to stop them making contact, or else I just take the hit in the helmet and hope they don't get my ears.
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby Dazz » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:15 pm

This is what works for me. Once I know where a magpie is, that's the point where I make sure I'm riding in front of my mate. Has been pretty successful. However on solo rides I'm yet to find a solution, so it's head down and pedal like crazy.


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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby recumbenteer » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:08 pm

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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby moose85 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:36 pm

I have a $30 helmet from kmart that looks like a tree threw up on it in terms of pattern. As in it looks like it has tree branches and leaves painted all over it. Never been attacked. The two times I've worn a plain single coloured helmet I've been nailed.

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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby g-boaf » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:49 pm

recumbenteer wrote:And what works for me.....

http://s1200.photobucket.com/user/Wiseman181/media/IMG_5341_zps314c6534.jpg.html

out run 'em :mrgreen:


That's cheating! You've got bodywork behind your head. :P :lol:
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:13 pm

I make an offering to Kwumpa, the Magpie God. It's either a virgin or someone's first-born. The latter are pretty easy to get hold of but the former is getting more and more difficult....
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby kx315 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:28 pm

I stumbled over this site yesterday http://www.magpiealert.com/
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby jaznit » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:23 am

Hey all, it seems like anything visual just doesn't do the trick - and that a physical barrier is the best.

I saw a guy at Mcgraths Hill McDonalds today with the zip ties and also some tennis table balls coloured like eyes stuck onto the top of his helmet which seemed like it could work.

I think I'll go the zip ties on their own and put a few out towards my shoulders - the comment from Dave about them sitting on my shoulders scares the crap out of me (yes I have a small phobia about them)


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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby jaznit » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:25 am

Biker jk - your link didn't work for me and I couldn't find it when I searched you tube - can you message me the link as I'm keen to see if it works


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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby rebilda » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:58 pm

biker jk wrote:Get yourself an afro wig. It's the only thing that works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES_n4DgJDHs



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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby adrian_d » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:19 pm

I noticed that there were a few suggestions on giving them food. I heard with Magpies that if you feed them occasionally then stop, anyone else that doesn't feed it will be more likely to get swooped due to them relying on us to provide them food. I thought it would entice them to come closer to the bike track too since there will be food there.
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby RonK » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:52 pm

adrian_d wrote:I noticed that there were a few suggestions on giving them food.

Befriend them with food if they are nesting in your backyard, not out on the road someplace.
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby RonK » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:58 pm

I'd be very cautious about relying on any of these devices to deter magpie attacks. To do so is to severely underestimate the aggression and the flight capabilities of magpies, and you could suffer an eye injury like this one, or even end up loosing an eye. Quite simply they cannot be relied upon to work.

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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby adrian_d » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:00 pm

RonK wrote:
adrian_d wrote:I noticed that there were a few suggestions on giving them food.

Befriend them with food if they are nesting in your backyard, not out on the road someplace.



Ah yep totally understand now. I'm amazed at how much care and attention they take into protecting their young. If only they could have babies during Winter when most of us like to keep dry lol
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Re: Anti Magpie devices

Postby Leiothrix » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:49 pm

The two main suggestions seem to be zip ties on the helmet and feed them.

I'd suggest however that sticking bits of steak on the end of zip ties attached to your helmet might be slightly counter-productive :lol:
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