I got bit on the ear on Barr St Ekibin by either a butcher bird or maggie today,
he often swoops making a loud crack like sound(enough to make your ear ring)
but never drawn blood before. I hope for the birds sake it is a one off, I am
okay with him but a concerned parent may not be.
We must have a few ugly ones over here as well.
My Wife & I were both swooped last week by the same bird about 2km from Samford Village near the Pony club.
Gas propulsion.......it's natural don't fight it.
Just reviving an old thread.
I have had a gutful of magpies and am not embarrassed to say they have got me running scared.
I am concerned I will swerve away from one and get collected by a car.
Is there anything that works to defend against them?
Do the "eyes" on the rear of the helmet work?
Do those plastic spikes coming out from the helmet work?
(and if so, what are they called and where do you get them?)
Keen to hear peoples thoughts
until 2 weeks ago, i thought it a bit of a laugh, but after 2 direct temple hits from the SWINBURNE-SLASHER, i avoid the area completely - so know how you feel.
I think its all anecdotal and not worth relying on. If you strike an average maggie, ive found having a flashing red light mounted on the helmet effective, but that could be a completely random reaction.
Australia Post bikes have the flag which is an anti-magpie measure......BUT, that was all pre- Swinburne-Slasher for me.
Afro-Wig the only 'psuedo-scientific' device i have seen
even vegans arent safe
Don't swerve. Unlikely they will make contact with you and even more unlikely they'll draw blood. If they do strike, it's just your helmet... Better a little scratch than being road kill anyway.
Here's a post of mine from a few days ago in another thread:
Works well enough for me. I got swooped last week by a bird and just tilted my helmet light to 'shine' directly into the 'direction of attack' and no further swoops.
Bit hard to aim & ride at the same time, maybe you can come up with a 2nd World War British Naval destroyer 'hedge hog' system for pushbikes, instead of dropping them down, fires the ball bearings up.
Or stick bird food all over your helmet, so instead of just swooping at you, they'll land on your helmet, eat & go away happy.
Or run over a brush turkey, I haven't been swooped since I cleaned up a brush turkey about a year ago, maybe the maggies are too damn scared.
This has been my experience also. I used to get swooped by a couple but the flashing red light put a stop to it.
I met a pair of very friendly Magpies today & although it was tempting to give them a clip over the head I refrained & shared a bit of my lunch with them.
What are you looking at you pointy beaked little pecker.
Gas propulsion.......it's natural don't fight it.
Zep, they're most likely females...whose mission in life is to stuff their faces and provide for young.
The males are the a-holes, who show off to females by pegging out and defending a nesting area.
Anyone who thinks flashing red lights on the helmet works are challenged to try the tactic 3 times each at
- Swinburne or Tindale Streets beside Kedron Brook.
- Banyo Nudgee -The path connecting Childs and Earnshaw Roads, beside the footy ground.
These are the two most aggressive magpies I've encountered in the last 3 weeks, averaging 350km/week.
Maybe my helmet light wasn't bright enough.
"Almost all attacking birds (around 99%) are male, and they are generally known to attack pedestrians at around 50 m (150 ft) from their nest, and cyclists at around 100 m (300 ft). Attacks begin as the eggs hatch, increase in frequency and severity as the chicks grow, and tail off as the chicks leave the nest.
These magpies may engage in an escalating series of behaviours to drive off intruders. Least threatening are alarm calls and distant swoops, where birds fly within several metres from behind and perch nearby. Next in intensity are close swoops, where a magpie will swoop in from behind or the side and audibly "snap" their beaks or even peck or bite at the face, neck, ears or eyes. More rarely, a bird may dive-bomb and strike the intruder's (usually a cyclist's) head with its chest. A magpie may rarely attack by landing on the ground in front of a person and lurching up and landing on the victim's chest and peck at the face and eyes.
Magpie attacks can cause injuries, typically wounds to the head and particularly the eyes, with potential detached retinas and bacterial infections from a beak used to fossick in the ground. A 13-year-old boy died from tetanus, apparently from a magpie injury, in northern New South Wales in 1946. Being unexpectedly swooped while cycling is not uncommon, and can result in loss of control of the bicycle, which may cause injury. In Ipswich, a 12-year-old boy was killed in traffic while trying to evade a swooping magpie on 16 August 2010."
And because motorists aren't being injured / killed not a damn thing will be done about them
2012 Oppy A4
So I encountered an persistent but not overly-aggressive magpie (he didn't make contact) this morning on Nudgee Road at the (Hendra?) pony club grounds.
This location is only a couple of hundred metres from the intersection of Nudgee and Toombul, where a particularly vicious bird regularly attacked rider's eyes a couple of years ago. I hope this isn't the same bird found his way back from wherever he was relocated to.
Last edited by RonK on Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
Thanks Ron. I traveled north on Nudgee Rd from Portside around lunch but turned down onto Schultz Canal bike path.
The KBB Gordon Park maggie wasn't as aggressive this morning around 730a, and I covered 90 k's around the burbs without getting whacked.
Got swooped by this fella yesterday, quite persistent (7/10/12)
Magpies i can handle, Down near Holmview there is a crow who seems to think he is a magpie . He swoops people every year, and when he hits your helmet you know about it
Zip ties don't bother him. Nasty bugger of a bird .
Vaeske comments include a concern about translocating or culling the adult Magpie pests leaves their babies vulnerable to starvation. Ive heard this line of 'misthought' before. You either translocate all the pests, including the babies, at least 80km away, or cull the lot. There is no other way, unless someone knows of one.
On transport corridors, human safety must come first. The loss of an eye, a serious injury (or in extremely rare cases, a death as a result of falling into the path of a vehicle caused by a swooping attack) is a far greater cost to society than the loss of one or a few magpie pests. I live in NE Victoria. Here Magpies have reached plague proportions. There are several thousand Magpies within a 10km radius of my home. Culling 5-10 really aggressive specimens who nest year after year alongside routes frequently used by cyclists, will not harm the overall numbers of the pests.
The Magpie pests also kill other birdlife, and peck their eyes out, Ive seen them doing it, several times. When these pests move in, all other smaller species of birds move out.
So write to your Council if the swooping is aggressive, but not just for any swoop, as some birds are not overly aggressive and just clack their beaks. Then the Council may realise the scale of the problem-because most 'bum-sitters' in offices will only get swooped once in their lives, they are not subject to repeated swoops as regular cyclists are if there are no practical alternative routes to use. Write to your Councillors, MP, Newspaper, and Federal Minister of the Environment. Check your local statutes to see if a bird can be culled or removed under State regulatory provisions. South Australia has oneunder Section 54 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. Victoria may also have a provision under Section 28A and 28G of their Wildlife Act 1975. Victoria's Local Government Act, Schedule 10, part 11(b) also speaks of a duty to remove a danger to anyone or anything using a road.
I cannot guarantee citing this legislation will work, and I am not a lawyer. I am unsure if a Council is legally liable to a charge of negligence if a risk in a road corridor is reported and their is not a satisfactory response in accordance with the Road Management Act 2004 (applicable in Victoria).
I also note, that as regular cyclists, we do have to put up with some swooping, not all swoopers are in highly frequented locations, and not all are overly aggressive. However the frequency of swooping, and the numbers of swooping sites, and overall numbers of the pests is just out of control.
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