JUST one magpie swoop has been recorded so far this year in Forbes on the hugely-popular Magpie Alert website.
With magpie breeding season well underway across the region, many people have taken to social media and the alert website to share their stories of attacks and swoops.
Late on Thursday afternoon, there had already been 1209 reported attacks across Australia, with 145 of these resulting in an injury.
In Forbes, a swooping magpie on Bedgerabong Road was reported on Magpie Alert by a user called CD.
“One bird swooping and snapping its beak whilst cycling along the bike path,” the post stated.
“Bird swooped repeatedly for about 300 metres.”
In Dubbo, a swooping magpie on Glenabbey Drive was the single report on the website.
“Magpie attacked me twice around the same location, the first time around 7.30am and the second time on the way back around 7.50am,” the post read.
“Tried to remain calm, protected my head with my arms, stopped running and started to walk.
“On both occasions, the bird was quite aggressive and swooped me two or three times despite being away more than 60 meters from the first encounter.”
In Orange, however, there may have only been one reported attack but this one left a cyclist injured.
“Swooped three times and pecked on left side if face whilst cycling, causing minor bleeding,” a website user called Woodsy said following the sweep on Cameron Place.
There have been five reported magpie swoops in Bathurst, among them was a cyclist who goes by the user name of Radio Addict
The rider said while they were not injured in the magpie swoop on Vale Road it was “quite a scare”.
“This magpie took exception to me enjoying an afternoon ride and came soundlessly from behind before launching a repeated attack with plenty of beak clapping, swooping and squawking,” the post read.
“Riders beware as it attacks silently before making it’s presence known resulting in quite a scare.
“Also beware of the traffic in case you swerve from fright into the path of a following vehicle.”
While on Russell Street in Bathurst, a person called Evan H reported another swoop.
“Quite a pesky little bugger. Certainly hit the back of the helmet with some force a number of times for about 50 metres,” the post stated.
Swooping Magpie Safety Tips
FIVE seasons of collecting data on magpie swoops has resulted in a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to attacks.
Magpiealert.com has the following tips:
- If you are swooped while cycling get off of your bicycle, a large number of injuries reported on magpiealert.com are caused by accidents where cyclists fall off during an attack.
- Keep an ear open for their distinctive calls.
- It is important to try to stay calm, if you panic and flap then this is more likely to appear as aggressive behaviour and provoke a further attack.
- Wear sun glasses and with large wide-brimmed hat to protect your head and eyes.
- Face the magpie they tend to attack from behind so facing them should avert an attack. Remember to keep facing the bird as you walk out of their territory some birds will swoop as soon as you look away.
- Warn other people where the magpies are swooping locally by registering the swoops with along with a description on our national mappie map.