Magpies preparing for air attacks

By Huw Morgan

15 August 2012

Spring is almost here (about time) and magpies around Australia are starting to stretch their wings getting ready to swoop.

Yep, they may be small but some (usually males, apparently) are very aggressive and will swoop people who get near their nests.

Cyclists are their main target and below is a video of testing of various helmets and adaptions to keep the swooping birds at bay. The video was shot at CSIRO’s Black Mountain site in the ACT a few years ago.  The results are interesting.

A few years ago the NSW Government spent a bit of time and money on a rather long-winded study “Management of Native Birds that Show Aggression to People” of the problem.

For more on this topic see: Attacks on humans by Australian Magpies (Cracticus tibicen): territoriality, brood-defence or testosterone?

Thanks to Ben Cubby (@bencubby)  from the Sydney Morning Herald for reminding me about the danger circling overhead.