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Swooping birds in North Lakes, Brisbane


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Can anybody tell me more about these birds and if you or a family member has been attacked?

My 5 year old was recently attacked by one of these birds as she walked to a swing in a park in North Lakes - I could do nothing as it happened in such a flash. There was blood coming out of the wound, luckily I had some wet wipes to clean with straight away. A few days later, I took the kids out on their bikes again, on a walkway in North Lakes and they were almost attacked (5cm away) from the face again.

Needless to say, the kids are a little scared to go to the park and ride their bikes outside now - what a pity, as the weather is so great here in Brisbane.

We are also having at least 6 - 12 of these birds in our tiny backyard every day, so they are terrified every time a bird comes into the back yard.

Any suggestions on how to keep these birds at bay??????

What is the point in living in an area where there are great parks and walkways if you cannot use them - for fear of being attacked by a swooping bird?

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Probably the Magpie - it's their breading season and can be very protective of their young.

Here are some handy hints and tips:


Edited by Heymanse
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Aaah, yes. Magpies.

Every spring these stupid birds swoop people during the breeding season. It's a territorial thing, and only the males swoop. Only a small percentage of them do it and not all of them make contact, so your daughter was unlucky. A lot of the time they just pretend to attack.

I'm afraid the same birds will probably do it again and there's not a lot you can actually do to it. You certainly won't scare the bird away and it's illegal to harm them.

That being said, I would strongly suggest ringing the council to report that your daughter has been injured and it drew blood. They may actually arrange to have the bird "destroyed" if it's actually injuring people in a public place and they get a lot of complaints.

I know I called them stupid, they're actually very clever birds that do stupid things. The swooping is usually just a show because most of the time the nest with babies is high up and out of reach anyway.

They have been known to take a disliking to some people and others not. And they do remember faces.

We have some that hang out in our front garden. On Sunday they swooped my friend when I wasn't there but they've never swooped us or our kids. This is the first spring in our new house so I hope they don't start!!

PS: the swooping usually only happens for about 6 weeks of the year in Spring. For the rest of the year they don't do it.

Edited by HansaPlease
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Yip. I remember my first September in Perth. Out riding my bike and out of nowhere got nailed - didn't see it coming and thought someone had thrown me with something only to look up see one of these things hovering above my head with murder in his eyes.

They don't always make contact, but they're not afraid to get physical either. Like others have said, it's really only this time of the year and they tend to attack anybody on a bike, golfers and children. It's not to be taken lightly though, they attack with enough aggression to damage your eyes (kids in particular) and every so often there have actually been kids who have lost eyes because of it.

Things you can do is to stay close to the kids when walking, make sure they wear sunnies. Ultimately the best defense is probably for kiddies to not go riding their bikes for these few weeks to be on the safe side. Regular bike riders often put things like electrical cord tie straps on their helmets (creates spikes that keep them back).


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LOL! This brings back memories!! Although this is in Cape Town! Went to school there & stayed in hostel- we "grew-up" with these type of birds! Just learnt to be more aware of where the nest might be & be on alert! At least as Hansa says it generally is during spring/nesting time. Respect nature & it will respect you! You are more in their territory than they are in yrs! We learnt to shield ourselves by means of blazers over our heads LOL! Other option is to stick a long stick on your bike (at back or front that is higher than the rider (like you would do if you are in the bush with ostriches) put a few "streamers" on...a coloured bag or two cut in thin strips. This will give birds an attack-point/ target! Good luck! I know it's not nice- it really was scary when we were all of 8yrs old!

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I have seen a doccie last week about these birds, where the little girl and her grandma went for a walk, little girl on a bike, and the magpie actually pecked her in the eye, which she lost, she is blind in that eye.

They said that kids should have lots of cable ties on their helmets, standing straight up, to distract the birds. I have shown my kids a few helmets with cable ties on it and they are quite excited to get such funky helmets.

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I love the spiky helmet idea, maybe even spray or paint some of the cable ties funky colours to look like spiky hair....

I had to laugh at some of these stories although it is not a laughing matter, just they way you write zetman (typical saffer to think someone has thrown you with something, would be my first thought too)..

Anyway I also saw the documentary on the little girl loosing her eye. The also recommended that adults walk / ride with the kids and also that when you are out and about to wear sunglasses.

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just to add to the advise given-dont feed them in your garden. If they think that your garden is a good place to lay and raise a family, they may start to attack you in the garden. however the idea that they recognize faces and wont attack the family is an interesting one! Not too keen to put it to the test this season myself.

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