Following the snakes awaking post on Monday, you’d think the best thing to do would be to keep your eyes on the ground checking for danger.
Well, it’s not as simple as that!
Because at the same time as those snakes are surfacing from their winter slumber, nests are being built in trees. Nests for magpies and those magpies are fiercely territorial. Yes it’s……
Magpie Attack Season!
Now, I’m no ornithologist, (had to look that one up) as those of you who have read my post Oh No! Trouble with the Neighbours will surely already know. So I can’t tell you whether our Australian magpies are any more aggressive than anybody else’s magpies. But I can tell you ours are aggressive.
Here they tend to attack cyclists and children who come within 100 metres of the tree they have built their nest in. Although the nesting season lasts from June to December, the swooping behaviour from each individual occupied tree lasts about six weeks while the chicks are in the nest.
Although I have never seen or been affected by a swooping magpie, it’s a big enough problem here for Quest News to publish a map highlighting magpie attack hotspots. It’s interactive, click on those warnings for details……
View Magpie attack hotspots 2010 – By Quest Newspapers in a larger map
I love nature and wildlife but let’s face it, magpies are nasty. As I understand it, they are the bullies of the bird world. They terrorise other birds, destroying their nests, killing their young and taking over their territory, all without the slightest tinge of guilt. Yes, very nasty.
Yet magpies are a protected native species in Australia, so it is illegal to kill or harm them. Many people now believe it is time for that to change.
Just a few days ago in a place called Walloon no more than about 30 km from me, a young 12-year-old lad called Ivan Sthrowski-Wooda died in hospital three weeks after being hit by a car. He had run into the road trying to escape from an attacking magpie. That is so very, very sad.
So magpie attacks are a serious problem.
At the moment the only advice offered appears to be to stay away, wear a hat and don’t fight back as the magpie will only get worse.
I’d say the best advice is to tell your children not to panic, stay on the pavement and get away from the area as quickly as possible.
But surely the time has come to remove these pests from built up areas or perhaps even destroy them. It’s time for us to be as merciless with the magpies as they are to the rest of the bird world.
Anyway, back to that hat theory. What sort of hat should you wear? To find out, you really need to watch this, the result may surprise you…
You may also want to read my post Swooping Magpies: How Stupid Are They?