Magpie's relentless attack on woman as swooping season kicks in: 'Life in Australia'

Although entertaining for some to watch, the footage shows the unsettling experience many Aussies will encounter over spring.

A Western Australian has shared terrifying yet hilarious footage of an unfortunate woman being chased by a magpie as a reminder of the dangers the birds pose this time of year.

In the video shared on social media, a person is seen riding down a suburban street while a magpie continuously swoops them, eventually hitting their helmet.

The person filming is heard laughing as the terrified scooter-rider repeatedly screams "stop it" at the bird.

With Spring well underway, so is magpie swooping season and social media is awash with similar stories and videos of people experiencing the wrath of the nest birds at this time of year year.

Two images side by side. Both photos show a magpie swooping a person scootering on a suburban street. The left image is a close up.
An angry magpie is seen swooping a person on a scooter in Western Australia. Source: Supplied

Swooping season seen all across Australia

Aussies on TikTok responded to the footage with a resounding acceptance that this is "life in Australia". One less sympathetic Australian responded saying being swooped is "character building".

But many are unaware of what to do when faced with a swooping magpie, with one runner among many Aussies pleading for answers. "How [do I] avoid being swooped during this time?" they desperately asked.

Last week, a member of a different local community group shared their concern over not being able to "go out the front of our house without getting swooped by magpies from four houses down".

Magpie swooping tips

With the season barely underway, there are several ways people can protect themselves from a swooping magpie.

  • When you "identify the specific area where swooping is occurring", you can "detour around the area for the few weeks necessary (nesting period)", Sydney Wildlife Rescue (SWR) told Yahoo News Australia.

  • If avoiding the area isn't an option, SWR recommends an "umbrella or hat as protection." Some people also "paint or fix large eyes on top of a hat" which can act as a deterrent.

  • Sometimes, there may be a "particularly troublesome bird causing injury to people" SWR explained. If that's the case, it's important to note it is "illegal to harm magpies (or any wildlife)" so contact National Parks and Wildlife or your local Council for further advice.

Why do magpies swoop?

According to the Queensland government, only nine per cent of magpies are aggressive towards people and, almost all swoops on people are carried out by male magpies defending their eggs and chicks, which are in the nest for about six to eight weeks between July and November.

It does not last forever though, as swooping usually stops once their babies have left the nest.

“It's around the fact that they've got a nest nearby... they are just making sure that you are not going to do anything to harm them," Birdlife Australia’s Dr Holly Parson previously told Yahoo.

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