It’s been over 2 years since I’ve worried about being attacked by a magpie, but it looks like those fears are about to re-surface. In Melbourne, I never got attacked, and apparently it wasn’t that common for people to be swooped, for whatever reason. Growing up in Brisbane, spring was always a stressful time for me. I could hear the magpies calling out in the weeks leading up to their nesting, and my ears would prick up, my hairs would stand on-end, and the sweats would begin.
I had a few terrifying magpie experiences walking to school. One in particular that I remember was when I was about 16 and I was carrying my bass guitar to school along Herston road. I heard it coming and I turned around as it swooped past my head, so I started running. I ran all the way to school and had a massive asthma attack. As you can imagine, I walked a different way home.
If you’ve never been swooped, it’s really quite traumatic! My Dad cut out black and white cardboard eyes to put on the back of our hats or helmets to try and deter them, and I think it may have worked. I’m going to make some for my little hat that I wear to work each day cos I pass HEAPS on my walk to work. Apparently if you look them in the eye they are deterred, but I have no intention of trying to stare one down as it’s shooting towards my head.
Here’s hoping they’re too busy looking after their eggs to worry about little old me. Otherwise I’ll have to find a different way to get to work…
Hi Renae. I share your experience with magpies. I always held a stick above my head — the magpies would still swoop, but they go for the top of the stick, not my head! Plus sticks are easy to find when you rush out the door in the morning and realized you’ve forgotten your magpie protection kit.