I know because a mate and I conducted a very scientific experiment, where he rode past sans cable ties and got torn a new one. Swooping behavior also seems to vary across Australia—at least according to Magpie Alert!, a website on which the public can report magpie attacks. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy I've gone the cable tie route. Is any of the advice meted out each year on avoiding attacks actually worthwhile, or backed by evidence? It therefore stands to reason that the best response to a swooping attack while cycling would be to get off and push your bike. According to one estimate, fewer than 10% of magpies swoop, and even fewer of these do so consistently. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions. cable ties to your helmet does little to deter a determined magpie, beyond the fact that some strategic placing can help keep them away from your ears. Bear that in mind, and we can hopefully reach a détente with our feathered (and occasionally flustered) friends. If you become aware of swooping attacks in a certain area the best thing is to avoid it – even just crossing the road should be sufficient. Unfortunate posties, travelling the same route each day and meeting the same magpies, seem to end up on the naughty list through no fault of their own. "There's only two things that work in our experience — one of them is the cable ties, but a huge forest of them," Dr Jones said. Bear that in mind, and we can hopefully reach a détente with our feathered (and occasionally flustered) friends. Some magpies never attack pedestrians but go for cyclists; others do the opposite. Turning to face magpies may also help – many birds do not appreciate being stared at, and as magpies prefer to swoop from behind, this may be a good tactic if you find yourself cornered in a park. Cyclists do seem to invoke more extreme reactions than pedestrians, judging by the fact that magpies appear to pursue cyclists farther. Your opinions are important to us. For the rest of the year magpies are peaceful urban neighbors who delight us with their distinctive song. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. If you can’t do that, at least wear a hat and sunglasses; these will help reduce the chance of a determined magpie pecking a sensitive area. Every spring in Australia is heralded by reports of magpies swooping at people. October 1st, 2013 By Alan C. 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. Cable ties work on the 3 magpies between my house at Winmalee and the Great Western Highway. With these long ones, I feel pretty safe. Simply attach brightly coloured zip-ties (also known as cable-ties) to your helmet and don’t cut the excess length off. Sadly it seems that the classic tactic of attaching cable ties to your helmet does little to deter a determined magpie , beyond the fact that some strategic placing can help keep them away from your ears. As with just about everything involving biology, the answer is “it depends”. They can swoop up to 100 metres from their nest and will repeatedly swoop familiar faces for their 23-25 year life span. It therefore stands to reason that the best response to a swooping attack while cycling would be to get off and push your bike. The magpies get close enough to you to feel the zip ties and then swerve away without actually hitting you. It seems likely that Australian magpies do the same, effectively holding a grudge against particular people. What can we do to avoid ending up on the receiving end? Cyclists do seem to invoke more extreme reactions than pedestrians, judging by the fact that magpies appear to pursue cyclists farther. Close. Sadly it seems that the classic tactic of attaching cable ties to your helmet does little to deter a determined magpie, beyond the fact that some strategic placing can help keep them away from your ears. You will of course be wearing a bike helmet, and as magpies swoop from behind, this will offer protection against its sharp beak. To purchase this video for media use visit https://video.storyful.com/. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2'); }); According to one estimate, fewer than 10% of magpies swoop, and even fewer of these do so consistently. 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 :) Every spring in Australia is heralded by reports of magpies swooping at people. METHOD 1: CABLE TIES. Although Australian magpies are not related to true crows, they do share similar levels of intelligence. If you're having this problem in april I think you'll need more than a cable tie. MagpieAlert Editor - … Is any of the advice meted out each year on avoiding attacks actually worthwhile, or backed by evidence? – ref. The M7 magpie swoops just as often but only snaps at the cable ties and can't get to me. Regarding the Low Flu Vaccine Effectiveness Meme, Progress for Gene Therapy and CRISPR against Blood Diseases, Science X Daily and the Weekly Email Newsletter are free features that allow you to receive your favorite sci-tech news updates in your email inbox. Step 1 - Go and buy some long cable ties and find your cycling helmet So off I trotted to that well known hardware store and picked up a packet of 30cm cable ties. Podcast: Royal Commission of Inquiry into Christchurch Terrorist Attack – Paul... VIDEO: Paul Buchanan and Selwyn Manning to discuss Commission of Inquiry... PODCAST: Iran Assassination & China V Australia Examples of a Deterioration... VIDEO: Paul G. Buchanan + Selwyn Manning Discuss: Iran & Australia... Rights group records 40 violations in Papua in 2020 – cases... An Australia–NZ travel bubble needs a unified COVID contact-tracing app. Might be better to just avoid known spots in springtime, thanks to this site! One method is to festoon one's helmet with zip-ties: Another solution is based on analyzing the magpies' attack methods. US researchers have shown that American crows recognise people who have trapped them to band them, give alarm calls when they next see them, and even pass on that information to untrapped birds who also sound the alarm when they see trappers. Can you be injected with two different vaccines? He said his team's research showed putting a few cable ties in a bike helmet was not absurd enough to deter the swooping birds. Ditto the idea of painting eyes on the back of your helmet or hat. “It stops them from hitting the helmet. u/k-h. 4 years ago. Did my cable tied cycling helmet work? We look suspiciously like the sort of person who is wearing tinfoil on their head! ... Should I walk around with a bucket on my head or cable ties on my helmet, like some locals recommend? The information you enter will appear in your e-mail message and is not retained by Phys.org in any form. Many more swoops have been reported in the eastern states than in Western Australia, and fewest of all in Tasmania. Helmets are designed to slide, but the cable ties can stop this, adding to risk of neck/spine injuries. The bright spikes on top of your head will be a distraction to the magpies… If you can't do that, at least wear a hat and sunglasses; these will help reduce the chance of a determined magpie pecking a sensitive area. For the rest of the year magpies are peaceful urban nighbours who delight us with their distinctive song. Once the chicks are out the males seem to calm down; presumably they perceive nest-bound chicks as most vulnerable. A man riding his bicycle in Spalding Park, in South Australia's Broughton River Valley, has been filmed being attacked by a swooping magpie. Read the original article. Once the chicks are out the males seem to calm down; presumably they perceive nest-bound chicks as most vulnerable. I think magpies enjoy pushbikes. Some magpies never attack pedestrians but go for cyclists; others do the opposite. ! Sadly it seems that the classic tactic of attaching cable ties to your helmet does little to deter a determined magpie , beyond the fact that some strategic placing can help keep them away from your ears. People – here ’ s really about permanent insecurity source: the Conversation under a Creative Commons license helmet. 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