Magpie Attack Hotspots Map Helps You Avoid Those Evil Birds

MagpieAttacksHaving being repeatedly swooped by magpies as a child, I'd personally like councils to shoot them all. Failing that, knowing where they can be found is a useful step for planning a hassle-free trip.

The Magpie Attack Hotspots map lists locations in Sydney where there's a known magpie waiting to swoop. The site was built by Cumberland and Courier Newspapers, based on reader submissions.

If you know of similar resources in another state, or have a more sophisticated solution to fighting them off than whacking them with a tennis racket or wearing an ice cream carton on your head, share it in the comments. Thanks Simon!

Magpie Attack Hotspots


    Geez, can someone expand this to Newcastle... One of the buggers almost knocked me off my bike the other day!

    It's the Magpie breeding season and their are strategies you can take to protect yourself from the mother magpies who are just out to protect their young.

    So just grow up Angus and realise that you are not the only creature inhabiting this earth. The planer is overpopulated with six billion other ugly selfish humans, maybe a bit of human shooting would be better called for.

      When I wrote this post I was confident someone would try and argue the magpies' case. I don't personally buy an argument that runs "it's OK for magpies to defend themselves against humans, but not vice versa" -- especially when some studies suggest aggressive behaviour by magpies outside of breeding season. And just what are those strategies, tennis racket aside?

        Hehe, Lifehacker Australia is generally quite a depressing, pessimistic place, at least compared with the American version, so not overly surprised with this sort of article... I know you're probably just being sarcastic, but yeah... attacking a magpie is illegal and kind of pathetic... the ice cream carton on the head sounds like the way to go. Or you could try a different route perhaps?

        Hmm. We have taken over virtually every inch of the planet, half-destroyed most of its ecosystems, driven vast quantities of other species into extinction (Australia is a particularly enthusiastic destroyer of non-humans, of course). Then someone complains if the odd creature living in the few remnants of unconcreted reality we've allowed to stand pecks at their head a bit. You and your ilk won't be happy until you've eliminated all non-humans. Or maybe you'll accept the odd fluffy one with big eyes, confined to cages.

        You are truly beneath contempt.

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted

        Oops. Overreaction on my part, and I forgot the all-important "wait 5 mins before posting when you're angry" rule. I stand by the general picture: we're the big danger (to everything including ourselves), and we should leave the remaining nonhumans in peace as much as we can. But I apologise for the rudeness.

    Since my girlfriend is scared of birds I normally end up having to chase them away.

    Magpies I throw lots of sticks at them so they fly away. Then keep chasing them till I am far away enough from where I am sitting. Then I let them take back the area which is far away and walk back to where my girlfriend is. Magpies generally are stupid enough to think they have won and I get to eat my lunch.

    As for sypathy for magpies i have none. They are agro all the time and even bully other birds too, all year round.

    Other birds like sea gulls are easy. You just make sure you have a bottle of water with you and spray it in an arch at them. Once you hit them a few times they fly off and it doesn't hurt them :).

    I kinda wish there was like a noise birds hate or something to scare them off. Would make the whole process a lot easier.

    What are you talking about? Magpies are the most friendlist, most interactive bird there is.
    Were I live, the magpies are so friendly, they sit on your veranda and actually take food off your hand. They are so friendly, and there are so many generations of birds that we have gone through. It is those crows that are the bird that are mean and attacks people. The crows call is loud and irritating, while the magpies are calm and soothing.

    Maybe there should be a crow site, not a magpie.

    Wow. I had no idea Lifehacker was run by rednecks. Definitely my final visit.

    Wow guys, looks like most of you need a holiday.

    I always used to get swooped by magpies on my way home from school, while crossing a park near my parent's house. For a 10 year old kid, the sound of those wings clapping right next to my head, and the sound of that big, needle sharp beak snapping shut within inches of my ear was terrifying!

    So I asked a few older and wiser heads if they knew a way to stop the attacks without resorting to violence. We all have our place on this little blue marble, after all.

    To start, you have to realise WHY the bird is swooping you. There are three major reasons.

    1. To drive you out of their nesting territory.
    2. To collect nesting material - AKA: a clump of your hair.
    3. Like some of the commenters in this thread, magpies are jerks. Anyone who's seen a bunch of maggies beating up on a lone, smaller bird will know what bullies they can be (I have, and do).

    Some of the suggestions that worked for me...

    * Drag a fallen gumtree branch along behind you. For best results, make sure the branch is at least half as big as you are, and that it still has lots of leaves attached. Don't know why this works, but it does.

    * Ever noticed how magpies *always* attack from behind? Like all bullies, magpies are cowards at heart. Exploit that cowardice. Wear a hat or cap with big eyes drawn on the back, or put your sunglasses on the back of your head. You may look and feel a bit ridiculous for a short while, but magpies will never swoop someone who they think is constantly watching them.

    * Try walking backwards across the bird's turf, or constantly look back over your shoulder, keeping a close eye on your airborne nemesis. If looking back doesn't put the the bird off (a rare occurrence), turn and face it. In extreme cases, yelling helps too.

    The idea is to show the swooping maggie that you know exactly what it's up to, and that you're not afraid.

    Bonus magpie hack: You can turn the 'look back over your shoulder' method into an amusing game of statues with the swooping bird, if your timing is good. :)

    Just wanted to add another hotspot. Clyde train station has a very aggressive maggie at the moment. Watch your back.....

    Like to say the Rhodes has some scary ones at the moment too

    I have been swooped by magpies at Halliday Park, Five Dock twice this week while riding my bike with my mum, brother and sister. I was so scared and do not know what to do. Mum walked with a leafy branch over her head but the magpie persisted to attack me even though I wore a helmet.There are lots of you walking, running and riding in and around Halliday Park so watch out.

    some magpies are more vicious than others right outside my house I have been attacked very fiercely I have had my ear cut open and scratches all from simply going for a walk with a friend personally I would never harm a magpie cause they are only protecting their babies

    one way to avoid magpie swooping is to have a dog with you

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