Magpie season is underway with swooping becoming more frequent. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer
Magpie season is underway with swooping becoming more frequent. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer Christopher Chan GLA200912MAGP

Cyclists say council magpie safety advice is dangerous

THE State's peak cycling body has criticised local government advice for dealing with swooping magpies, saying it could be more dangerous than the birds themselves.

The Brisbane City Council has provided extensive information about magpies, as well as advice on how to protect against swooping during breeding season, under the Living with Wildlife section of its website.

Among the tips, such as refraining from feeding the birds and avoiding breeding areas, is a recommendation for cyclists to "wave a stick or fit a flexible pole to your bicycle".

That was despite conflicting advice on the site for cyclists to dismount in the event of an attack because it was believed magpies respond mainly to movement.

Bicycle Queensland chief executive Ben Wilson said using a stick could do more harm than good.

"I'd say using a stick would just be another hazard, especially to the user," he said.

"It can be dangerous enough when you're already riding on quite a busy road ...

Mr Wilson said Bicycle Queensland had researched magpie swooping in its attempts to promote safe bicycle riding.

He said there was no fool-proof solution.



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