Last years statistics at magpiealert.com shows that 14% of attacks resulted in injury so checkout these tips to help prevent attacks.
Below is a list of safety tips that we've collected over the past 5 seasons from our readers that may help with preventing and avoiding a magpie attack.
- Keep alert and pay attention for any magpie nesting sites.
- Travel in groups where possible as the birds often target individuals.
- Keep an ear open for their distinctive calls.
- Wear sun glasses and with a hat to protect your head and eyes.
- If a magpie swoops while you are cycling, it will probably stop swooping if you get off your bike and walk.
- If you spot a magpie nesting site then stay well clear and even plan alternative routes.
- Remember magpies are urban species too, so there is generally no escaping them!
- If you get swooped then tell others, log the attack here and inform your local council.
- Do not provoke the magpies, they are very territorial and will protect their nests.
- Try making friends with the magpies by feeding them with raw mince, slithers of steak and some readers have suggested cat food works too.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat or carry an umbrella.
- It is important to try to stay calm, if you panic and flap then this is more likely to appear as aggressive behaviour and provoke a further attack.
- Try to protect your eyes with your hands, those large beaks are very sharp and eye injuries have been previously recorded.
- Magpies seem to have very good memories and have attacked the same people over subsequent seasons and others they just leave alone. If it's attacked you before probably a good idea to use an alternative route next season!
- A rider reports "I have found it super easy to wave one arm in the air while riding to keep maggies away", perhaps it works for walkers too.
- Face the magpie they tend to attack from behind so facing them should avert an attack. See our stories section for details how I faced off at won!
We are continuously updating the tips through your own submissions. If you would like to add some safety advice then please sign-up to submit your tips.