Magpie Attacks

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Felice Scapin, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. SteveWoll

    SteveWoll New Member

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    There is a particularly nasty magpie up on a busy corner (Princess Hwy and Mt. Keira Rd), who has got lots of people recently. Seems to like aiming for the neck and lower ear, perhaps because it has learnt that the helmets are hard.
    Last Sunday a new response was tried by one of the younger cyclists that seemed to work: he waved his bike at the bird! Not a recommended procedure, but apparently in trying to look for the next bombing run while riding an unfamiliar bike he fell off, and the crew turned around and saw him waving the bike in the air!

    Seriously though, it is a nasty place to be hit by a bird, 'cos there is lots of traffic, and the magie could easily distract you into hitting something harder and metal.
     


  2. Archibald

    Archibald New Member

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    copped it a couple of times saturday in the nice sunny weather - once on old geelong rd just before sayers rd, then also twice on derrimut rd.
    white strativariusII helmet that survived the impacts well, with only one apparant nick in it. although i kept wondering if the magpie's beak is long enough to reach through the vents and the possible outcomes...
    one of the derrimut rd ones had a go for the ear, but thankfully missed.
    tried to pick up the pace but not easy in a headwind with a slight incline!
    i did notice that they never struck when i was being overtaken by a car.
     
  3. terry prowse

    terry prowse New Member

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    G'day mate, did this, works great on magies and crows,:cool: but I was attacked by a Wedge Tailed Eagle.:eek: :eek: :eek: tourists got photos of attack.cycle carefully in the outback of NSW. tmprowse@bigpond.com.au Broken Hill Regards Terry:)
     
  4. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    I wear one on the bus in the morning to get a discount on the ticket price.
     
  5. 62vette

    62vette Well-Known Member

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    So it fits well with the humming, dribbling and flailing your arms about :D
     
  6. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    You forgot window licking.

    Fair go, I only do all that when they look like they are gonna refuse the discount.
     
  8. drubie

    drubie New Member

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    Heh.

    More seriously, there are five different magpies attacking me on my regular saturday morning ride here in armidale.


    The worst one is in town (I swear I could feel the beak snapping millimetres from my ear). Vicious, short swoops and lots of beak clacking, aiming for flesh rather than helmet (that sounds a bit rude!). I can avoid this bastard by cycling up the hill so only discovered him last saturday, nasty surprise that it was.

    The second one is a two swooper up a hill out of town, nasty but only occasionally brushes the helmet with it's claws. Easy to see this one as I'm riding west and you can see the bastards shadow.

    The third one is a hovering sonofabitch that makes scary noises but doesn't actually hit you. Again, not too bad, still riding west at this stage so you can at least see the shadow.

    After I've turned north, the fourth one screams down for one or two swoops from the east, so he attacks from the side. This one feels like he would knock you clean off your bike if he made contact. I got my old steel bike up to nearly 60km/h trying to get beat the bugger (on the flat). Talk about jelly legs after that.

    The fifth one is smaller (cycling back east by this stage, so you can't see the friggin shadow). He's almost a relief though as he's mostly just noisy.

    I'm wearing my ear warmers next saturday, but seriously, do the cable ties work or not? I don't care too much about getting pecked or scratched on the back of the neck, but getting my ears pecked is making me paranoid.

    I don't want to be attacked by eagles if I strap a bit of christmas tinsel to the helmet either. I've seen more than one of the big bastards circling around here and I figure a magpie is relatively harmless compared to something that can carry off a lamb.

    I thought about the fake eye thing, but maybe that just annoys 'em. :mad:
     
  9. wcngu1

    wcngu1 New Member

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    what the hell? eagles can carry off a lamb?????:eek:
     
  10. drubie

    drubie New Member

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    Yes they can, and regularly do it. In some parts of the country the sheep graziers regard them with the same contempt as foxes. Something of a shame as they are native birds and bloody magnificent predators. However, I don't want to encourage them to attack my head :)
     
  11. Archibald

    Archibald New Member

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    better take that lambs tail off the back of your helmet then...
     
  12. a cunningham

    a cunningham New Member

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    I was attacked by a magpie or possibly an Australian Raven on Sunday, at the intersection of Nudgee and Toombul Roads, Brisbane, while cycling back into town. I had been stopped at the lights waiting for the right turn traffic signal and was cycling alone at the time. The bird swooped from behind after I had turned onto Nudgee Road. Despite my wearing a helmet and sunglasses, it managed to hit and cut my face only about 2 mm from the corner of my eye, creating a huge black eye. People at work are all asking me how the other person in the fight went! The bird swooped twice more as I could see its shadow after me.I just pedalled as fast as I could waving my arm in the air and fortunately didn't fall off as it is quite a busy inersection. This bird has only missed blinding me by a few mm. I was struck nearly a year ago at the same intersection, on the same part of my face but about one cm from the same eye. That time I only had a couple of scratches. I think it must be the same bird and think I will have to change my cycle route as I think this bird is going to blind someone! If anyone knows any sure fire ways to stop this I would appreciate it and would also like to warn others about this intersection. Not sure about the type of bird, only saw big and black!
     
  13. kakman

    kakman New Member

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    A lot of people seem to go the 'cable tie sticking out of the helmet' route but I can't attest to its affectiveness. Even though we've had a cool winter in Sydney, I know it's probably only a few weeks before they'll start down here. Might try the tinsel and 'extra sunglasses facing backwards' trick as well - I can't stand the bastards.

    //k
     
  14. honglong123

    honglong123 New Member

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  15. neon

    neon New Member

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    Magpies have been on the go for about month now around where I live. All I have come across pretty passive really. None are going for the kill. Just buzzing the tower so to speak, like Maverick in Top Gun. :D
     
  16. TDU Boy

    TDU Boy New Member

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    I am an animal lover, but those bloody birds really test my patience...

    My most recent attack was last year -- I was running at the time, actually, rather than cycling. It was at the northern end of the Victoria Park racetrack in Adelaide and the first I knew about it was when I felt the magpie's wings brush against my head. It scared the absolute sh*t out of me and I started sprinting like a maniac. Then I decided I would turn around to face the little bugger -- I knew there would be a second time and at least I would be able to see him coming. I looked up and he was hovering about 5-10 metres above me. I stared him out and was waving my arms frantically in the air for about 10-15 seconds before he gave up and finally decided to fly back to his tree. I was completely spooked (and absolutely stuffed!) for the rest of my run and kept looking over my shoulder about 10 times every second.

    Moral of the story: I agree that they don't like the eyes looking at them. I think I'll stick some giant googly ones to the back of my helmet. I've just started getting into cycling and all these stories are freaking me out!
     
  17. Balderick

    Balderick New Member

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    I believed that as well, until the week after the Super Car Races at Bathurst last year. I was at a conference at the mt Panaorama Pits, and naturally took my bike. Rode counter-clockwise, and this very aggressive magpie attacked me about 6 times as I rode up Mountain Straight.

    I wanted to do 2 laps, so reversed direction for the sole reason of going down Mountain Straight, and hopefully go fast enough to avoid being bombed.

    So I ride down Skyline, and hammer down Mountain Straight. Doing about 70 kph, feeling smug, and whack whack. I look back, and this magpie is lining up for another go.

    So, the 50 kph thing does not ALWAYS work.
     
  18. matagi

    matagi Well-Known Member

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    Having seen a magpie having multiple goes at a postman riding in traffic on his motorbike (doing 60+kph) I think the 50kph rule is a bit of a myth.

    I have no idea what the top dive speed of a swooping magpie is, but they are tenacious buggers when it comes to protecting nesting sites.
     
  19. 62vette

    62vette Well-Known Member

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    There's an aggressive bugger back on one of my training routes after being clear for a year. Our local coucil will go and cull aggressive magpies seeing as they're an introduced and considered a pest species here in NZ.
     
  20. matagi

    matagi Well-Known Member

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    They are a native bird over here in Oz and therefore protected. The worst thing you can do is disturb a magpie's nest by moving it to another location, it only makes them more aggressive. They also imprint and pass it on to their offspring, so the problem is then perpetuated. We only have two birds on our normal riding route that swoop and they are in locations where the trees are regularly lopped by the tree butcherers employed by the local power authority.
     
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