Avoid 'defence zones' by taking alternative routes during the breeding season. These birds are smart—Kaplan places them in the top 20 most intelligent animals in the world. Also, magpies usually go back to the same spot every year, so if there was a swooping danger zone on your route last year, it is likely to be there again this year. They enjoy sunbathing, play-fighting, frolicking in sprinklers, and swinging on washing lines. Given that magpies have long memories, a few judicious offerings of mince or similar tidbits throughout the year can help you befriend them, making them much more amenable to your presence come spring. Male magpies are adapted to drive away potential predators, and are especially when the chicks are vulnerable nestlings. Wear sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat or shelter under an umbrella to protect your face from swooping magpies. Only one in 20 magpie males will engage in swooping antics while mumma magpie incubates alone. Bill Bateman, Associate professor, Curtin University. Native birds such as Australian Magpies are highly protective of their eggs, nest and young and will often swoop at unsuspecting passers-by if they feel threatened. The 20 per cent of us who do experience some swooping usually encounter ’pies in public places such as parks and busy roads. Remember magpies are urban species too, so there is generally no escaping them! Those ruthless swooping demons are extremely aggressive during this time of year as they defend their nests with gusto around gardens, schoolyards and parks. Almost all attacks are made by male birds that see people who ride or walk as a threat to their young. Instead of waging war, it might make more sense to extend an olive branch. It's at this time of year that cyclists of all persuasions take on a slightly unhealthy pallour, and get a bit wild around the eyes at the prospect of solo rides: magpies are unabashed cowards and will rarely attack a large … “They have survived years of hardship, fought hard to get a territory and have been able to find a partner.”. An inventor has engineered a series of helmet attachments to test the best ways to stop magpies from swooping. Springtime is baby time, which means it’s also protect-your-chick time for magpie mums and dads across Australia. Many more swoops have been reported in the eastern states than in Western Australia, and fewest of all in Tasmania. For starters, they provide free pest control by munching on bugs. The best way to avoid being swooped is to change your route. Instead, Kaplan suggests moving quietly away from the bird’s nest and engaging in calm conversation, while showing your face gives the magpie a chance to remember you. To easily identify swooping birds, see our list of common swooping birds, or check out our Flickr gallery. Every spring in Australia is heralded by reports of magpies swooping at people. But here are a few tricks to get you through swooping season unscathed - and a few classic tactics that don't work. Every spring in Australia is heralded by reports of","url":"https:\/\/www.lifehacker.com.au\/2019\/09\/how-to-survive-magpie-swooping-season-2\/","img":false,"category":"Life","published_at":1569576626,"updated_at":1569576616,"kind":"article"},"ad_location":"mrec-content-mobile","targeting":{"pos":"1"},"provider":"google-dfp","element_id":"ad-slot_mrec-content-mobile_section-index-1_pos-1"} ); You can also try wearing your sunglasses on the back of your head, or drawing or sewing eyes onto the back of a hat. Some magpies display marked preferences for swooping certain people, with some specifically targeting posties and others dive-bombing cyclists. Cyclists do seem to invoke more extreme reactions than pedestrians, judging by the fact that magpies appear to pursue cyclists farther. Avoid ‘defence zones’ by taking alternative routes during the breeding season. “With friendship in humans, you don’t need to feed your friends all the time, you have them over for dinner occasionally. If a threat is spotted, the male may swoop in a defensive warning display. Magpies are less likely to swoop if you look directly at them. But here are a few tricks to get you through swooping season unscathed - and a few classic tactics that don't work. Every spring in Australia is heralded by reports of","url":"https:\/\/www.lifehacker.com.au\/2019\/09\/how-to-survive-magpie-swooping-season-2\/","img":false,"category":"Life","published_at":1569576626,"updated_at":1569576616,"kind":"article"},"ad_location":"mrec-content-mobile","targeting":{"pos":"2"},"provider":"google-dfp","element_id":"ad-slot_mrec-content-mobile_section-index-1_pos-2"} ); What can we do to avoid ending up on the receiving end? Highly adaptive and socially intelligent. But don’t overfeed them – it’s just a friendly bribe, not a full-blown dependency. Magpie attacks aren’t as common as you (and the media) might think. In this case, it’s important to stay cool, because wildly flinging your arms over your head is interpreted as aggressive behaviour, and the magpie will subsequently double his efforts to drive you away. If you are a cyclist, walker, runner or maybe a concerned member of the public then help protect others and share swooping magpie attacks on-line here! And what should you do if you are assailed by an over-protective bird? Magpies have excellent memories and can recognise individual faces. “A magpie’s behaviour is far more like a dog’s,” she says. If you become aware of swooping attacks in a certain area the best thing is to avoid it – even just crossing the road should be sufficient. And obviously if you’re cycling, get off your bike.”. With more and more of us choosing to feed our local garden birds, there are more and more pests stumbling upon our patches and making their presence known! 1 decade ago Does wearing cable ties and/or drawing eyes on your helmet stop magpies swooping when cycling? Swooping season various from one part of … In practice, however, swooping magpies can be dangerous, according to Professor Darryl Jones, a behavioural ecologist at Griffith University. Magpies tend to nest in the same spots every year, meaning déjà vu attacks for anyone cycling a regular route. The speed of cyclists also appears to be a factor, as more often than not, dismounting and walking slowly will stop the swoop-nado. And some hold a deep animus against posties on bikes, and reserve their fury solely for them. A magpie swoops a cyclist. siteads.queue.push( {"site":"lifehacker","pagetype":"article","ad_type":"article","sec":"life","amp":false,"ctype":"article","article":"how to survive magpie swooping season 2","article-tags":["angry birds","au","birds","magpies","science"],"native":["null"],"aggregate":["angry birds","au","birds","magpies","science"],"pageID":["null"],"sub-sec":"","cat":"life","cat1":"","item":{"objectid":903366,"title":"How To Survive Magpie Swooping Season","text":" Magpie attacks aren't as common as you (and the media) might think. siteads.queue.push( {"site":"lifehacker","pagetype":"article","ad_type":"article","sec":"life","amp":false,"ctype":"article","article":"how to survive magpie swooping season 2","article-tags":["angry birds","au","birds","magpies","science"],"native":["null"],"aggregate":["angry birds","au","birds","magpies","science"],"pageID":["null"],"sub-sec":"","cat":"life","cat1":"","item":{"objectid":903366,"title":"How To Survive Magpie Swooping Season","text":" Magpie attacks aren't as common as you (and the media) might think. Magpies only swoop within 50 metres of their nests so stay away from known magpie nesting areas. However, not all birds swoop to protect their eggs and young during breeding season, so don't be concerned simply because there are magpies or other common swooping birds in the area. death of a 76-year-old cyclist in Wollongong, Five Myths About Magpies You Need To Stop Believing. Enhancing familiarity with your local ’pie doesn’t work in places like public parks where lots of people pass through all the time. If you must enter a ‘defence zone’, magpies will be less likely to swoop if they are watched constantly, or if people walk in a close group. Aside from preventing swooping, befriending your local magpie has many benefits. Unfortunate posties, travelling the same route each day and meeting the same magpies, seem to end up on the naughty list through no fault of their own. Many gardeners consider magpies a nuisance, especially when the birds eat garden fruits and vegetables, or when they become aggressive during the summer in an attempt to … Cross the road or avoid known swooping trees for the first few weeks of spring. Magpie attacks aren't as common as you (and the media) might think. Ditto the idea of painting eyes on the back of your helmet or hat. Spring is the season for blooming flowers, frolicking lambs and… the wild beak-clacking terror of swooping birds? If all else fails, simply console yourself with the fact that swooping season only lasts a few weeks. Other birds recognise the magpie’s alarm call and will seek safety while the magpies vigorously defend an area. “It’s extremely valuable for other smaller songbirds who congregate around magpies because they know they are going to be defended.”. Magpie swooping season is supposed to be nearly over - but it appears our black-and-white avian friends didn't get the memo. Is It Legal To Kill Magpies In Australia? For some reason, certain males … Some of us enjoy all types of birds and other wildlife visiting our garden or local patch. The same is true of birds … The occasional feeding is a mark of friendship,” says Kaplan. It's officially Spring, which means the return of the dreaded Magpie season. Privacy Policy. I don't want to put those cable ties on my helmet because I'd look like a bit of a douche, and right now I'm drawing lots of eyes to stick on my helmet. Some magpies never attack pedestrians but go for cyclists; others do the opposite. 3D printing inventor tests out a series of helmet attachments to find out what REALLY stops magpies swooping you – with some surprising results Youtuber Alister Laidlaw this week tested the best defences against magpies He 3D printed twigs, cable ties, and a magpie, then attached them to a helmet Cycling down a path, he […] What to do if a Magpie is Swooping on Your Route. Magpie season is currently in full swing (or should that be swoop?) But just because something is scary doesn't mean you should believe everything you hear. They also help protect other smaller songbirds that live alongside them. }. As with just about everything involving biology, the answer is “it depends”. If you spot a magpie nesting site, then stay well clear and even plan alternative routes. Australia's social website to track aggressive swooping magpies in your area. They even appear to quardle-oodle-ardle just for the fun of it, like humming in humans. So how can you avoid swooping this season? Excellent memories and can recognise individual faces descending into avian war zones busy roads dreaded! Who ride or walk as how to stop magpies swooping when cycling threat is spotted, the answer is “it depends” exclusive discounts, special and. Lifehacker delivered to your helmet isn ’ t as common as you ( and the )! 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