Magpie season in full swoop

MARIAN JOSEPH

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Beware of the Magpie attacks around Brisbane. Photo: BrisbaneandBeyond.

According to magpiealert.com, Queensland is the magpie attack capital of Australia, with 29.5% of attacks in 2015 occurring in the Sunshine State.

Urban ecologist at the University of South Australia, Professor Chris Daniels, says that magpie attacks are not random, and they will often pick specific targets, such as male children, cyclists or posties.

“This behaviour is learnt and can often be to do with a past bad experience of an individual bird, which may have previously been bullied or harassed by children, adults or even animals,” Professor Daniels said.

“Magpies are extremely intelligent birds and recent research shows that the birds are smart enough to recognise people’s faces and may take a dislike to a person and victimise them repeatedly if they enter their territory—which they may inhabit for 20 to 30 years.”

Australian Geographic writer John Pickrell says that you’re more likely to be injured in an incident with magpie than with many of our other dangerous native animals, such as snakes, spiders or crocodiles.

“Magpie attacks are so common and the reason for that is that the magpie is a quintessential urban adapter which has thrived alongside people in cities and built-up areas so are not afraid,” Mr Pickrell said.

“Thousands of people across Australia are subject to attacks annually and nearly every year some people are blinded or lose an eye.”

Magpiealert.com has the latest information about magpie attacks, a map with reported swooping, ways to help prevent them, and where the most dangerous spots in Australia are for attacks.

The 2016 Recorded Attack Count on magpiealert.com is currently at 2496 attacks and 326 injuries from attacks, a high count considering it is only the start of swooping season.

For more information about swoop attacks around Brisbane visit www.magpiealert.com.

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