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Discussion: Magpie Map

in: Orienteering; General

Sep 15, 2020 7:32 AM # 
To all Aussie runners, but mainly cyclists, there is a magpie swooping map for 2020. If you've been swooped you can add your location to the map to warn others.

Looking at Perth, most attacks seem to be in the Western suburbs - I suspect because LOST members are all wusses with too much time on their hands to make a report!
Sep 15, 2020 7:36 AM # 
Have seen a few suspicious looking magpies but no swoops - yet!
Sep 15, 2020 11:03 AM # 
I noticed that Fulham Road, Alphington is well-decorated with red, and rightly so.
Sep 15, 2020 12:14 PM # 
Is there is any wildlife in Australia that isn’t trying to kill people?
Sep 15, 2020 12:22 PM # 
No. But then, are there any humans in the USA that aren't trying to kill people? :-)
Sep 15, 2020 12:47 PM # 
As I've said in another thread, we cop a lot of grief over our snakes then all I hear about are the rattlers and bears in North America.
Sep 15, 2020 1:23 PM # 
@simmo, yes, throwing stone from in a glass house, etc.

We have the double whammy of killer wildlife AND killer humans.
Sep 15, 2020 1:37 PM # 
Seriously Cristina, there are no (AFAIK) deaths from magpie swooping, and probably more deaths attributed to cattle and horses in Australia than to sharks, crocs, snakes, spiders and other wildlife.

And we do have a few murders, not many shootings though.

Having a magpie swoop from behind and try to peck your helmet while riding is not a great experience. And some of them are pretty persistent and will swoop several times until you've left their territory. Runners at least can wave their arms around or dive under a tree and wait it out.
Sep 15, 2020 2:01 PM # 
Sep 15, 2020 2:17 PM # 
In the US I believe deer cause the overwhelmingly highest number deaths from wildlife. Cars + deer is a bad combination.
Sep 15, 2020 10:28 PM # 
By about a factor of 4 over bees/wasps/hornets, which don't need the car assist.
Sep 15, 2020 11:07 PM # 
I have an Australia magpie story but it didn't happen to me. My wife told me about it. We were in south Queensland for me to participate in the state O champs. I think the town was Stanthorpe or something like that.
While I run in the woods my wife heads to the golf course. She got partnered up with a group of ladies, one with curly red hair wearing a large floppy hat. The story of the hat was that ever since she was a youngster generations of magpies around the course had been swooping in and pecking at her red hair. Did the hat help? A bit but the magpies were still there and they still made some forays which my wife witnessed.
What did they want with the hair? Nesting material?
Sep 15, 2020 11:21 PM # 
Looks pretty safe to go running and cycling in that empty space in the middle. what could go wrong????
Sep 15, 2020 11:41 PM # 
Its the damn crows stealing golf balls. 16 minutes into this video for example. And a pretty unique golfing experience as well.
Sep 16, 2020 12:20 AM # 
At least one death - last year in Wollongong.
Sep 16, 2020 1:12 AM # 
Looking at just birds, you guys have these magpies, plus cassowaries, plus wedge-tailed eagles that attack hang gliders...Australia is quite a place...
Sep 16, 2020 1:28 AM # 
Watch out for angry emus
Sep 16, 2020 1:28 AM # 
When Canberra hosted the athletics World Cup in 1985 (a meet otherwise infamous as possibly the most doped athletics meet in history), it was the peak of magpie season and one of them took a fancy to the pole-vaulters.
Sep 16, 2020 2:26 AM # 
Don't forget the currawong. Those buggers will open your unattended bags and steal your food.
Sep 16, 2020 11:13 AM # 
triCky crows and black squirrels will do that in Canada, too. Also there is a group of birds in Los Angeles that steal hot dogs and sandwiches right out of one's hand. I know. It happened to me!
Sep 16, 2020 12:28 PM # 
Crows unzipped my pack, pulled out the food bag, opened it and extracted the salami. Ate it all and left the wrapper. As for stealing sandwiches out of your hand, nothing beats the emus who reach over your shoulder and grab it as you are about to bite. Those long legs have a purpose.
Sep 16, 2020 1:58 PM # 
Hmm, let’s not forget that TransTasman bandit the Kea (unusual alpine parrot that loves mountaineering gear!)
Sep 16, 2020 5:59 PM # 
Prehaps they need to send those magpies here?
Sep 16, 2020 7:32 PM # 
We've had cases of osprey attacks in California. They can be very territorial, especially in nesting season. We had to make last-minute changes to some courses at Lake Tahoe one year.
Sep 17, 2020 12:14 AM # 
Kookaburras also do a good job of pinching food. Snags off a barbie or a chook drumstick at the outdoor movies at UWA are particular favourites.
Sep 17, 2020 1:02 AM # 
Kookaburras will also swoop and steal from your hand if you're not concentrating.

I don't trust them after hearing about one aiming to steal a bit of toast out of a woman's hand as she put it in her mouth, missing the toast, and going through her cheek instead.
Sep 17, 2020 1:08 AM # 
I have had a drumstick taken from my hand as I was putting it in my mouth, fortunately the bird did not miss!
Sep 17, 2020 1:10 AM # 
As long as they don't steal your map during the UWA relays next month then all's fine.
Sep 17, 2020 7:01 PM # 
I was volunteering with Team Canada at the Olympics in Sydney, exactly 20 years ago and I remember the magpie problem well. There was a certain section of pathway at MacQuarie university near where Team Canada's (outside of the athletes' village) operations were headquarted and we needed to head down that path to get from our residence to our workspace and EVERY TIME a magpie would swoop. We eventually had some success by gathering a pile of sticks at each end of the pathway and we would each pick up a stick and madly wave it above our heads as we walked through the area.
Sep 17, 2020 8:55 PM # 
The BBC radio this morning had a piece about aggressive Australian plants. Granted, we have our share of those over here, but these reportedly create fiendishly clever molecules that resemble animal venoms.
Sep 18, 2020 7:46 AM # 
Sep 18, 2020 8:06 AM # 
Oh yes, the stinging tree. Only found in the wet rainforests of north Queensland (a part of the country which particularly abounds in creatures that want to kill you).
Sep 18, 2020 12:49 PM # 
Oh my god I despise the stinging tree. Took me 18 months to heal from a couple of welts I received from it at the Cairns XPD several years ago. Oh, guess where next year's XPD is? Bloody Cairns. The only comfort I got from the stinging tree was that when one person in the team hit it, all four of us hit it so we knew each other's pain (it happened twice during the race; day 2 and day 8).

Incidentally the immediate cure/relief to the stinging tree is to douse the affected area with a watered down dose of hydrochloric acid (I passed out and I wasn't the only one).

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