I'm reasonably new to the joys of swooping Magpies and cycling, so could anyone tell me:
1. will wearing something over my ears stop the magpies snapping at them?
2. are magpies more likely to swoop a solo cyclist and not swoop for a group?
3. what is the usual period for magpie swooping and what months in the season are worst?
Came across one on the bike path between Warragul and Drouin yesterday - it was very keen, pecking my daughter a few times, then having a few further goes at me. Certainly had the kids pedalling quicker!!!
There are very mixed reports about whether any fixed objects will deter them. There are two things that always work for me - 1) waving my arm above my head (or even a stick) and 2) turning around to look at the bird. They don't like you looking at them at all.
Need to be careful with turning around, obviously. I was once out riding a beautiful quiet road in Western Sydney, near Silverdale, when I copped a fair whack on the helmet. I decided to get clever,so I awaited the shadow and then turned and swung a punch at the critical moment. The bird got a big shock, squawked and veered away, but it wasn't as big a shock as I got when I turned back to the front to find myself on the wrong side of the road and a car heading towards me! Fortunately, there was no impact on any of the parties (avian or human) other than emotional.
2010 Charge Plug, 2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Felt F75, 2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL
Hi Im new to the forum , The McGraths Hill Magpie now lives in the big trees on the corner where McDonalds is. Particularly aggressive and will draw blood at times. Its ok if you know hes coming but if you are day dreaming and suddenly you get smacked in the head there is the possiblility that you may shy away into a car coming from behind.
he is the baddest for miles. the two near rouse hill town centre are positively tame compared to this one
1.Might do some good - it depends on how much you want to stand out from the crowd. However, they may just decide to go for you neck instead, or somewhere else unprotected.
2. I don't know - I've been among a group and the damn thing singled ME out, left everyone else alone. I swear, I really want to take a tennis racket along the next time and take a damn good swing at the evil bird. It is a menace. Speeding up doesn't help that much either - they are pretty fast.
3. Some say between August and November - but that is subject to change on when the maggies feel like being amorous.
The bastard got me this morning. No issues heading towards the overpass, but coming back, damn thing scratched and pecked, assaulting for 200m past the lights!?!?!? Glad the ute boys got a laugh *it would have been hysterical to watch* but even the maggie that was outside my house was friendlier than this guy. Yikes.
I'm precious about my Oracle helmet too LOL
If your going to the bypass then turn left onto park rd (street before groves rd) and simply skip the magpie alltogether. Better for you and the magpie. Do the same on the way back. Easy . If theres a street to bypass a magpie I always take it.
Yeah we normally do that with the Trek Rouse Hill Leisurely Gentlemen Rollers (the slow group) but I was running late and ended up doing a solo run around the base yesterday - and didn't think the magpie could be that bad. I was wrong
Found myself a swooper!
It's on my street about 150m from home. Absolutely zero chance of out-sprinting it though. Where it lurks is a 14% gradient...
He doesn't come near when I keep my eye on him though
2010 BMC SLC01
The McGraths Hill maggie got me on Sunday, had no warning at all as I passed the McDonald's. He had about 4 or 5 go's at me, drew blood on my left ear.
To add insult to injury, I thought the the bypass might avoid him, but he still got me another 3 or 4 times on the way back.
Fortunately all he was hitting was cartilage, the fleshy bit would have been worse.
The b!(AT)#$%d got me yesterday also. He obviously knows to go for the left ear. Hit me time and again, truck parked at the lights blasting his air horns did not put him off at all. Quite the nastiest maggie I've ever come across.
FPR Jubilado Bludger
It's an absolute horror, isn't it? Never had anything like it. Magpies aren't on the endangered list are they????
I'm a long time reader and first time poster.
The McGraths Hill magpie has to be the worst one I have ever come across! He got me really bad today, blood gushing out of the ear and the term relentless does not do this bird any justice!
I got caught at the traffic lights, got off my bike and he just kept swooping from the top of the traffic lights,I even managed to hit him with a stone but that wasn't a deterrent. Followed me along Windsor Rd for about 50 metres.
Must have been pure entertainment for the folks in their vehicles caught at those lights.
On the return from Windsor I decided to dice it up with the 18 wheelers on Windsor Rd, that was the 'safer' option!
I sent an email to Hawkesbury Council on 29/10, have just got a reply:
Thank you for your email dated 29 October 2012 regarding the aggressive magpie at the corner of Groves Avenue and Windsor Road, McGraths Hill. Apologies are extended for the delay in my written response.
An application to destroy this bird has been forwarded to the National Parks and Wildlife Services. In the interim, signs have been placed in this area to advise the public of this swooping bird.
For further information please don't hesitate to contact me directly on
I don't like seeing animals killed in any situation, but surely this is a better result that the risk that this beast poses to others. Thanks Hawkesbury Council.
Got hit for the first time in decades this morning. Along the RSP between Cranford Ave and the Caning River. It did not draw any bloodor mositer at the time but I found when I got to work the tiniest smidgeon of clot. Sure enough, in the mirror a small but obvious scratch. It had glanced rather than dug in.
A good reason to wear sunnies.
Unicyclist's don't need a training wheel
Good news. It looks like the McGrath Hill Magpie at Maccas is gone. I went past today head swivelling and he couldnt be seen, another cuple of cyclest went past me going the otherway and I stopped to have a look and they also went through with no Maggie in sight. Looks like they got him.
With no casualties to the SEAL team sent to deal with him, we hope!
Honestly, it had to go. Someone had to think of the CHILDREN
There are still a few maggies around that are a bit protective of their young, even this late.
Encountered one on Saturday near Guildford, but an offering of food settled it down. Its youngster couldn't get the food fast enough.
Good that the McGraths Hill one has been destroyed, it was dangerous. This also serves as proof to councils who say they can't do anything about them that they can and that this is the procedure.
So it looks like August to November with a chance of July to December.
Has anyone been swooped into Jan ?
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