Friday, 22 November, 2019

NSW cyclist dies after falling from bike while escaping swooping magpie

Cyclists are particularly at risk of swooping magpies Cyclists are particularly at risk of swooping magpies. AAP
Patty Aguilar | 17 September, 2019, 08:35

A man has died of head injuries after he was startled by a magpie and crashed his bicycle in Wollongong.

With the start of spring, Australia is now in the midst of its "magpie season". This is so common that a national Magpie Alert website tracks incidents-it has logged more than 1,700 swoopings so far this year, with more than 200 injuries.

"It is awesome how far it will roam from the nest to chase a chosen victim", Ken said on Magpie Alert.

The Australian magpie is a different species to the European bird with which it shares its name.

"This bird was very aggressive and uncharacteristically territorial".

Earlier this month, Sydney's Hills Shire Council made the extraordinary decision to shoot dead a magpie which the National Parks and Wildlife Service deemed a serious safety risk to the public.

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Magpie swooping season occurs each year across the country in September and October, during Australia's springtime.

The bird begin breeding in August and will swoop to protect their young from what they see as threats.

Council officials said it took the action following 40 complaints from people, some of whom had been hospitalized.

One resident had also suffered a heart attack following a run-in with the bird, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

"It just did not stop, even as I was losing consciousness on the ground", he told ABC.

Last year, a toddler in Perth, Western Australia, had a narrow escape after a magpie swooped down and attacked his face as he sat in his pram, according to CNN.

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