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Have you ever been swooped by a magpie?

by Gayle Beveridge (follow)
Gayle Beveridge
Nature (53)      Question (37)      Birds (11)      Magpie (1)     

A magpie with attitude
A magpie with attitude

Tales of swooping magpies have almost become part of Australian folklore and advice on how to avoid them abounds.

Have you ever been swooped by a magpie and how do you think you might guard against it?

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Top Answers
More times than I care to remember, most recently at Hay when I abandoned a nature trail walk I was about to do.

We have magpies at home as well but we feed them. This makes them quite comfortable with us and so we no longer get swooped in our own back yard.

Magpies can become quite tame, although we have still kept a distance from ours, my mother has some she hand feeds on her back verandah.
I have been swooped.

The true Australian way is to get a used 4 lt
Ice cream container, draw 2 eyes & face on the bottom outside of the container.

Place on ya head.
There are some suggestions that this is little more than myth. Have you tried it yourself? Does it actually work, that is does it stop the attack or just act as a defesive helmet?
Any large drawing of 'eyes' will put off swooping.They think it is a large animal....well really we are? I does work, :)
by jonaja
That is so funny. I've never heard of this approach, but the rationale behind it sounds about right.
by Vee
Only Aussies look at life in such an amazing way! that's why I love them :)
by jonaja
No, not really. My husband's grandfather has the funniest story about the time he was swooped by a 'meatpie' though! Hahaha. His neighbour told him it was a magpie, but apparently "they're all the same".

I once saw some kids trying to swoop back with their skateboards. :|
by Vee
Fortunately, I do not have these birds in my country.
That's sad as they are brilliant birds. Penguin Bloom gives a great insight into what these darling birds are really like. https://youtu.be/NYPSM16v-48
by Rice
Touchwood* never.
they will swoop in the nesting season if they do not know you.
in our backyard they come for food and if the door is open will come into the kitchen. they can be hanfed and are very gentle in how they take the food from your fingers.
they will swoop over the head of the dog who runs after them but it is all a game to them both.
No but my great grandmother used to get swooped really bad often; they would basically scalp her. What Jonaj said works as does wearing a tin foil hat. Maybe gluing googly eyes to and placing a strip of foil around a cap would do the trick?
Yes, I have as I walk every day and through a few parks with trees. They even swoop on my dogs
by Finy
Never. They have a sixth sense about me I think. People are often amazed that a magpies will leave me alone. Perhaps the bush telegraph lets them know I love them and care for them wherever I am. Heehee. They are one of my favourite birds, they are so clever.
by Rice
(Goodness, how did that A get in there!!?) Anyway, as for protection, jonaj's way is the tried and true method as they hate big eyes and think it is a predator.
by Rice
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