Swooping Magpie Stories and Reviews

Your stories, tips and reviews published here!

This year's helmet config


From filming several attacks last year with a GoPro on my helmet pointing backwards, most magpies came in fast from behind and slightly to one side, aiming for one of my ears....

Afro & cable-tie combo wins out!


Day 1 of our stay in the Hunter Valley, went out for a ride but was cut short when just outside of the resort I was aggressively swooped by a magpie several times....

Zipties rock!


Was swooped twice this morning at a known magpie hotspot in St. Lucia, Brisbane, but the zipties on my helmet prevented it from making contact.

I have footage from the GoPro on my helmet, if there\'s somewhere I can post it.

So far 100% success but plastic spikes.


Me and my kids love Aug/Sept time for riding our bikes because of the temperature.

We often can't because of magpies swooping. We are riding bikes and waving a stick is dangerous. I have read of kids getting run over because of this in their panic.

Also kids losing eye site from maggies. ...

Scatter dry cat or dog food can help


If you frequent an area where you get swooped take a handful of small dog or cat biscuits and scatter them as you go past. If the magpies recognise you as a food source you will not be treated as a threat. ...

Little to No Swooping on Main Roads?


Main Roads. Noisy, Bright and vehicles travelling at speed, probably not the best conditions for a bird or magpie, let alone a person to live. In my findings in cycling around suburban streets and main roads, I get swooped countless times within only 1 suburban block whereas I can ride kilometres on a main road and no swoops or even a trace of a bird in sight....

A Prevention Measure that Works for Me!


I've read many suggestions on how to protect a cyclist's head from swooping bird strikes like putting sunglasses on the back of the helmet to look like eyes and attaching electrical cable ties to the top of the helmet....

Make Friends is easier than Fighting


About a decade ago I witnessed a magpie in our street swooping kids on bikes heading to school.

I encouraged the folk in the homes near mine to feed the little peckers the occasional titbit....

Easy magpie proofing. :)


As a 50's kid in Toowoomba, every September I was relentlessly pecked, knocked over and pinned down by protective maggies. Until by accident I found by holding a golf club well above my head, the cranky birds would not approach. Viola !!! :-) ...

Unconventional - but it works so far!


Having to run the gauntlet of 2 magpies on my morning commute from Gladesville to North Ryde I was interested in a colleague's suggestion that I try attaching a wig to my helmet - something she had seen a guy do on YouTube. ...

And the winner is...


So which SYDNEY Magpie will win this year?

Two categories - most swoops, and most injuries. I'm putting my money on the magpie near Percival Road Stanmore for most attacks...

Tail Light vs Magpie


Has anyone had experience or heard of magpies being deterred from swooping by a flashing tail light on a helmet?

Cycling Safety Tip: Cable ties versus helmet eyes!


After fifty odd years of cycling for both leisure and commuting I can say that cable ties only serve to make you look like a porcupine and do not prevent swooping, only contact. Beak snaps are still prevalent and dangerously distracting....

They are not your enemy - really


I've been feeding a few magpie families for over 12 months now - yes, I love them. I appreciate people are upset/scared/frustrated with attacking magpies - my theory is that they get territorial if they have a food source in the area - they think you want to steal their food. ...

Battle of Bulcock


In the heart of downtown Caloundra QLD a daily battle rages. Residents of this sleepy little community find themselves the spectators of a twice daily struggle between good and evil as the local postman, who in my opinion deserves the Australia Post employee of the year award, fights to complete his deliveries. Others who dare to make the trip along the same stretch of road are mysteriously immune. The battle is his ... and his alone! Watch the YouTube video

A study on the efficacy of helmet adornments in repelling magpies.


A short video on the study done by the National Injury Surveillance Unit of Flinders University


Note from Editor: Thanks Tooraj for your contribution. This short video has done the rounds a bit since it was published 4 years ago and shouldn't be copied at home. There have been many documented cases of cyclists and members of the public suffering injuries due to not wearing a lid.

Did my cable tied cycling helmet work?


Well did my cable tied helmet work? Having been attacked the previous week I'm not afraid to admit that I was a wee bit hesitant!

So ignoring the fact that I look like a bit of a numpty, will dressing like an echidna really work? ...

Cable Ties Rock!


Not as drastic as the mohawk helmet on your home page, but I use 3 or 4 (depending on which helmet) 300mm cable ties on my helmet and I have not been hit by magpies since.

They will still swoop, but they don't actually hit my helmet or head - I sometimes see their shadow or hear a flutter, that's all :) ...


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