Teliah McGee fends off a magpie while riding home from school.
Teliah McGee fends off a magpie while riding home from school. Shannon Newley

Magpies in attack mode

WARWICK has swung into swooping season with magpies protecting their young across the Rose City - resulting in a broken arm for one lady.

The 46-year-old woman riding along Yangan Rd fell off her bicycle and fractured her arm on Tuesday, trying to avoid being swooped. Ambulance officers treated her at the seen before taking her to the Warwick Hospital.

Ten-year-old Teliah McGee said she rode her bike home from school and was worried about being swooped.

"I have only been swooped once though," she said.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Senior Ranger Adam Northam said the peak of breeding season was from late August to October.

"During the breeding season, the best approach is to stay well clear of areas where magpies are known to be swooping, particularly the nesting tree. This can be any kind of tree, usually over 12 metres high," he said.

"One strategy cyclists have been using for the past few years is to attach large cable ties to the back of their helmet. The defence zone is usually only 100 metres in radius."

A serial swooper at Tweed dodged a bullet when police issued with a licence to destroy refused to after public out cry.

 

Avoid attacks

  • Don't provoke or harass as it makes them more defensive.
  • Avoid areas where magpies are known to swoop.
  • Find the bird and keep watching it when entering a magpie territory. If swooped on, don't crouch in fear or stop. Move on quickly but don't run.
  • Bike riders - dismount and walk through nesting territory, wear a helmet, and fit an orange traffic flag.
  • Bike riders - attach a dozen 30 cm 'quick ties' to the slots in your bike helmet so that they stick out like spines.
  • Wear a hat or carry an umbrella. A magpie will attack initially from behind and when it is tricked into believing the target is alert, the attack is stopped.


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