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Magpies! And Other Forces Of Nature


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#1 ashima

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 12:24 PM

I absolutely adore Spring but have noticed that the mapies and plovers in my suburb have become alarmingly more aggressive this season. I have resorted to running at night and out of town in the bush. This morning as it was such a beautiful day and i decided i was being a woos, i braved it. No sooner had i got 50 metres from my house when i was ambushed an divebombed by 2 plovers intent on scaring the crap out of me!!! I know they are just doing what comes instinctively but does anyone out there have any good tips for running when these critters are on high alert?

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#2 pjay

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 12:35 PM

I think magpies are the only ones that make contact or draw blood. The others are bluffing.  During a run when I hear magpies whooshing I turn around and practise running backwards.  They back off when a face appears.

#3 pjay

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 12:40 PM

Make sure you know how to run backwards without tripping though, otherwise you could  end up drawing more blood than otherwise.

#4 pjay

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 01:15 PM

By the way, this thread is in the wrong discussion group.  Runners Soapbox has a magpie thread.

#5 ashima

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 01:57 PM

Yeah, my mistake. When i looked further i found another discussion so sorry my accidental ballsup

#6 maryclaire

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:41 PM

I have found that running with my dog protects me from Magpies - as they swoop the dog rather than me and the dog doesn't even notice!

#7 SeeDanRun

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 10:31 AM

While remarking to myself that I hadn't been magpied yet this season, the dog and I got swooped/stalked by two crows. They ignored the fact that they themselves were being harassed by other birds and dedicate 10 mins to flying close over our heads croaking at us. I thought the whole situation had a creepy Edgar Allan Poe vibe that was very unsettling. The dog seemed fine, which I attribute to her poor literary education.

#8 redbackrun

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:14 AM

I have to contend with two masked lapwings(plovers) at work (on school oval). They had 4 chicks but only 1 left after one week due to other bird attacks or cats. Had to rescue two from drains after falling through the grates Every lunch break i need to usher them outside the school fence before the student run onto the oval. I get swooped a few times.

#9 Linno

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:00 PM

What is it about plovers and school ovals? We have had many generations of these birds hatched on our school oval.
We usually find that they will tolerate our presence up to a certain point on the oval and then start swooping. So we set out a line of witches hats along the oval and keep the kids on the right side of it. If they do swoop it's usually the teacher who is the target, I assume because we are the tallest out there.
I have been swooped by them in other places when out on a run, but they seem to just come in close then veer off, unlike magpies who will actually make contact.

#10 SirPlod

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:17 PM

View Postpjay, on 10 September 2011 - 12:35 PM, said:

  They back off when a face appears.

I also thought this until my experience last week. I've been getting swooped by the same two magpies on my morning and evening walk to and from the station for the past few weeks. Usually they just do a flyover, snap their beaks but don't make contact.

Last week I spotted the critter flying up to a house roof so that he could line me up. I stared straight at him thinking if he sees me looking at him he'll stay put. He didn't. Looked straight at me and launched his attack. I played chicken by staring him down as he flew towards me, but eventually I had to concede defeat as he came closer - I ducked my head and threw my jacket hood over my head just in time for him to fly over my head and snap his beak at me a couple of times.  

That completely kills the "draw some eyes on the back of your your hat and they won't attack" argument for me.  :blink:

#11 Buckey

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:44 PM

Actually some magpies don't back off when they see a face, they will peck an eye. every year a child loses an eye.

Think about how many birds you have seen with eyes missing!

http://www.thechroni...ack-blinds-boy/

http://www.watoday.c...1014-50ec.html.

My seven year old son got hit in the back by a plover at school the other day, scratched but no blood.

Last year my young chap was complaining about a blackbird pinching his food at school. My son is the slowest eater and it seems that this particular magpie used to wait until all the other kids had finished their lunch and left the table before chasing my son away and getting a free lunch.  :Hypnotized:

I have told my children to protect their face and eyes...if attacked by a bird and also not to handle a wild bird even if injured, an injured lapwing nearly took one of my eyes out (many years ago)

#12 tdm

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:16 PM

Yeah, I've got eyes glued to the back of my bike helmet. Last spring a Butcher Bird ignored the eyes completely (the gall of it!), swooped from behind and gave me a nice cut on the side of my face just under my eye. I've heard about some more vicious birds, usually Magpies, that will actually hang on while they peck at your face! Be careful out there . . .

#13 Ponytail

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:36 PM

Maybe you could run with a hat with a face drawn on it! Or better still, run with a bike helmet on with sticks sticking out of it like some cyclists do!  I've often thought that I'd rather get dive bombed than look like a twit with things sticking out of my helmet!  Apologies in advance to any cyclists on here who resort to such tactics!

#14 tdm

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:10 PM

I think I'll walk, run and ride with a full face motorbike helmet at all times. That should do it.

#15 tractor51

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 08:36 PM

View Postponytail, on 24 October 2011 - 05:36 PM, said:

I've often thought that I'd rather get dive bombed than look like a twit with things sticking out of my helmet!
A smart viewpoint, according to this ultra-scientific research:



#16 chariotlegs

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:59 AM

Great thread. The other day when I was running, had the same problem. To start with I was a bit oblivious until I saw the shadow of the Maggie heading for my head. Must have looked funny as I suddenly sprinted down the street waving my arms frantically above my head trying to scare it off. Probably just looked like a mad woman! Anyway, when I realised the darn thing wasn't going to back off. I stopped, walked calmly over to a tree grabbed a branch and walked in the opposite direction as if I was holding the olympic torch. I was never harrassed again. Think the magpie felt sorry for me....

#17 FlyerUltra

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:06 AM

View PostBuckey, on 24 October 2011 - 04:44 PM, said:

Actually some magpies don't back off when they see a face, they will peck an eye. every year a child loses an eye.

Think about how many birds you have seen with eyes missing!

http://www.thechroni...ack-blinds-boy/

http://www.watoday.c...1014-50ec.html.

My seven year old son got hit in the back by a plover at school the other day, scratched but no blood.

Last year my young chap was complaining about a blackbird pinching his food at school. My son is the slowest eater and it seems that this particular magpie used to wait until all the other kids had finished their lunch and left the table before chasing my son away and getting a free lunch.  :Hypnotized:

I have told my children to protect their face and eyes...if attacked by a bird and also not to handle a wild bird even if injured, an injured lapwing nearly took one of my eyes out (many years ago)

The maggies do seem to be more aggressive this year. I had never been hit front on by one until the other day when one almost knocked me off my feet it hit me so hard  :Hypnotized: directly where my left eye is on my wrap-around style sunglasses - I would have had bad eye damage for sure if the glasses weren't there!

#18 MG4R

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

I am getting swooped by CROWS! Insane! They chase for a few hundred metres too. Did not think they attacked but I was wrong.