Only in Australia: Incredible photo captures bike rider attacked by swooping magpie

An Australian cyclist has managed to snap the exact moment a magpie bit his cheek after swooping at him during a bike ride.

The incredible action shot was uploaded to Facebook by Australia’s Page on Monday, showing the magpie getting up close and personal with a bike rider.

Despite the man looking unbothered by the attack, the photo has divided social media users over the best method of protection against the aggressive birds this swooping season.

‘It’s not bloody rocket science. Wear sunglasses and a hat as well. They are only protecting their mates and eggs and or babies,’ suggested one person.

An incredible image uploaded to the Australia’s Page Facebook shows a cyclist capture the exact moment a magpie bit his cheek

‘Draw/paint large eyes on top of your helmet or attach long cable ties to the top of your helmet, usually works,’ commented another user.

‘Tennis racket sorts them out,’ joked a third.

One person claimed magpies only swooped people they didn’t recognise writing:

‘Magpies tend to leave people alone who they are used to for the whole year. It’s generally new people to their range during their mating season who get swooped…’

Bird deterrent tape, used to deter birds from gardens and crops, is being given to individuals using Brisbane Valley Rail Trail in a new trial to prevent magpie attacks on cyclists

Bird deterrent tape, used to deter birds from gardens and crops, is being given to individuals using Brisbane Valley Rail Trail in a new trial to prevent magpie attacks on cyclists

Peak swooping season has hit Australia as magpies attack to defend their nests, with joggers and cyclists most as risk.

But silver tape picked up from the hardware store has become the newest item to help cyclists ward off magpies during the dangerous breeding season.

Bird deterrent tape, a holographic tape that reflects sunlight to deter birds from gardens and crops, is being given to riders using Queensland‘s Brisbane Valley Rail Trail in a new trial to prevent magpie attacks on cyclists.

Paul Heymans, President of the Brisbane Valley Trail Users Association, came up with the idea after he attached ribbons on his helmet and noticed the birds didn’t attack him (pictured: Brisbane Valley Rail Trail)

Paul Heymans, President of the Brisbane Valley Trail Users Association, came up with the idea after he attached ribbons on his helmet and noticed the birds didn’t attack him (pictured: Brisbane Valley Rail Trail)

Paul Heymans, President of the Brisbane Valley Trail Users Association, came up with the idea after he attached ribbons to his helmet for a special event and noticed the birds that would usually swoop didn’t attack him.

Instead, the ribbons on the helmet saw magpies avoid Mr Heymans entirely.

Mr Heymans told Daily Mail Australia that a Brisbane Valley Rail Trail ranger had suggested they use bird scarer tape after they trialled the ribbon.

‘It worked even better than expected,’ he said.

Somerset Regional Council has bought around 2000 metres of the bird deterrent tape and has stocked visitor information centres in Fernvale, Esk and Toogoolawah with the tape

Somerset Regional Council has bought around 2000 metres of the bird deterrent tape and has stocked visitor information centres in Fernvale, Esk and Toogoolawah with the tape

Somerset Regional Council has bought around 2000 metres of the bird deterrent tape and has stocked visitor information centres along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail in Fernvale, Esk and Toogoolawah with the item.

The council will ask people to complete a short survey on their trail experience in exchange for the bird deterrent tape, which can be tied like ribbon to bike helmets.

Somerset Economic Development and Tourism Committee representative Councillor Bob Whalley said in a statement the council was happy to provide the holographic tape to people who use the trail during the magpie breeding season, which ends in October.

‘Early trials have indicated that swooping birds are deterred by the tape tied to cyclist helmets and may not swoop as close,’ he said.

‘Regardless, BVRT users must appreciate that during the breeding season, magpies will swoop, and they can be persistent.’

‘Somerset being in a rural area, there are many magpies in their natural environment, and a deterrent provides a practical solution.’

Mr Heymans said there are many vicious magpies along the trail and they have had to be relocated if they are extremely violent towards individuals (stock image)

Mr Heymans said there are many vicious magpies along the trail and they have had to be relocated if they are extremely violent towards individuals (stock image)

Mr Heymans said while the tape isn’t fully effective, it does work well enough when used with other protective accessories.

‘About 85% of the time, the magpies would veer away at the last second,’ he said.

‘There are always one or two who are not deterred, but wearing a helmet brim provides good protection from both birds and the sun.’

Mr Heymans said there are many vicious magpies along the trail and they have had to be relocated if they are extremely violent towards individuals.

‘There are hundreds of magpies along the 161 km length of the trail. Only a few are aggressive, but they can cause some injuries,’ he said.

Somerset Regional Council is expected to evaluate the effectiveness of the trial in November, but Mayor Graeme Lehmann said council would be happy to offer the tape again next season.

‘Magpies are a protected species. Bird scarer tape is a cheap and easy solution to discourage them from making contact when swooping,’ Mr Heymans said.

‘If we can learn to deter the birds without harming them it’s a win/win situation.’

Mr Heymans said he hoped the tape would reassure cyclists who are scared of magpies to visit the track and allow magpies and cyclists to co-exist so the birds won’t have to be relocated

Mr Heymans said he hoped the tape would reassure cyclists who are scared of magpies to visit the track and allow magpies and cyclists to co-exist so the birds won’t have to be relocated

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