Australia’s worst suburbs for getting swooped by magpies can be revealed thanks to a national website.
University of Western Australia’s Dr Amanda Ridley said the reason we’re getting swooped so often is because the birds are protective parents.
“They’re swooping when they perceive a threat to their young. They are trying to deter people away from their nests,” she said.
More alarmingly, magpies seem to attack the same people.
“We do have evidence that they do recognise people,” Dr Ridley said.
“These people, or even dogs that they remember, they are more likely to swoop.”
But thanks to Magpie Alert, which records reports of swoopings, the worst suburbs for magpie attacks can be revealed.
In Perth, it’s best to keep away from Nollamara, Thornlie, Wanneroo, Woodvale and Kingsley, where a cyclist was recently injured.
If you’re in Sydney, Alexandria, Peakhurst, Glebe and Darlinghurst are potential swoop spots, with reports of injuries in the past fortnight.
Adelaide suburbs with magpie-related injuries include North Adelaide and Glengowrie, while a cyclist was hurt in Mawson Lakes last month.
Brisbane has many notches on its belt for magpie attacks so far in 2018.
It’s recommended to avoid South Brisbane, Dutton Park, Greenslopes, Kelvin Grove, Ascot, Cannon Hill, Tingalpa, Gaythorne and Carseldine.
Most of Brisbane’s magpie attack victims were cyclists, with one woman claiming the bird chased her for “a rather long distance” and she suffered injuries to her ear.
In Melbourne, it’s best to be on alert in Reservoir, Carlton and Alphington.
Elwood has also had three attacks leading to injury this week, with two of them on Addison Street.
While the information seems alarming, Dr Ridley said we shouldn’t be scared of all magpies.
“Magpies are really misunderstood,” she said.
“They get a really bad rap in swooping season because of a handful of bad magpies that do swoop.”
On Queensland’s Sunshine Coast earlier this week, incredible video proved just how dangerous magpie season can be, with a fearsome bird stalking and repeatedly swooping a cyclist.
The footage, uploaded to the Sunshine Coast Community Board Facebook group, shows a magpie swooping a cyclist from behind, diving beak-first into the man’s head.