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Home Life Australians flee in terror as magpie ‘swooping season’ begins

Australians flee in terror as magpie ‘swooping season’ begins

by Staff
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We’re only two months into the four-month magpie “swooping season” but already more than 600 Australians have been attacked and almost 70 have been injured.

And that’s just from those who jump online to report the terror from above.

Magpiealert.com is an online resource that runs off user-generated data and helps track aggressive birds in Australia.

So far the site has registered 604 attacks for the 2022 season alone with 66 injuries at the time of publication.

While some of the commentary provided with the reports can be hilarious, some of it is downright terrifying.

“Got swooped along bike path while biking … No injury … I dismounted the bike and stared repeatedly at the bird, which helped. Followed me for about 100m before letting go,” one Queensland cyclist wrote of their narrow escape.

“Swooped twice, drew blood on side of face second time, direct hit, scared the bleep out of me. Was trying to avoid the bird on Butterfield St,” wrote another Queensland cyclist who was not so lucky.

One injured walker in Tamworth simply wrote: “Vicious.”

Those keen to study the data will soon notice some hot spots.

Brisbane and surrounding suburbs have a particularly high rate of aggressive magpies causing injury to passers-by. As does Newcastle.

Magpie “spooking season” – when the birds will build and defend their nests as they raise their chicks – can occur anytime between July and November.

Areas such as Brisbane and Newcastle have high rates of injuries to residents due to aggressive magpies.

An image of a magpie bird.
“Swooped twice, drew blood on side of face second time, direct hit, scared the bleep out of me,” wrote one Queensland cyclist.

Someone walking on the side of the row, trying to avoid magpies.
Magpie swooping season” usually occurs between July and November each year.

However, the first reports of swooping for 2022 were in early August.

It’s also a case of a few bad eggs, which the data does suggest.

Birdlife Australia national public affairs manager Sean Dooley was reported earlier this week clarifying that not all magpies swoop.

“Magpies get a bit of a bad wrap,” he said.

“It’s only the males that swoop and every study that’s been done shows it’s not all magpies that swoop.”

He said typically about 10 percent of male magpies swoop humans.

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