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  1. #1
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    Magpie attacks cyclist - ambulance required

    Paramedics treat man after magpie swoops

    Ambulance Victoria paramedics have treated a cyclist who fell from his bike when he was attacked by a magpie at Blackburn yesterday.

    Intensive care paramedics from Box Hill and advanced life support paramedics from Kew were called to Laburnum Street to treat the 47-year-old man, who was not wearing a bike helmet.

    Intensive care paramedic Bernie Rieniets says they arrived within six minutes. "The man was cycling when he was attacked by a swooping magpie,' he said. "He came off his bike and landed on the road, suffering head injuries, a broken wrist, a possible broken jaw, and cuts and bruising. We were concerned about the potential for spinal injuries, so we put a neck brace on him, and put a splint on his wrist. A drip was put in his arm, and he was given some fluids to stabilise his blood pressure, and offered him some pain relief.

    "He was unlucky that the magpie swooped, but given he wasn't wearing a bike helmet, he is probably lucky he wasn't more seriously injured. The man has been transported to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition.'
    Story here

    The Australian magpie can be vicious in the nesting season. As Wikipedia notes, "Spring in Australia is magpie season, when a small minority of breeding magpies (almost always male birds) around the country become aggressive and swoop and attack those who approach their nests, especially bike riders".

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Wow.. Think i'd rather be shet upon by a pelican.. Again, Helmets save.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






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  3. #3
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    You'd think by the time someone reached 47, they'd be used to magpie attacks, and learned some techniques to deter them, or at least how to stay upright when they do attack.
    Last edited by Allister; 11-16-08 at 03:45 PM.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  4. #4
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Here we go again! cyclist was not wearing a helmet, so he should be dead. Oh how lucky he is to not be dead, because he did not have a helmet on.

    But in this case, a stuffed cat on top of his head, might have prevented the magpie attack. Thereby preventing all type of injury to the cyclist.

  5. #5
    uke
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    it's easy if you let it. uke's Avatar
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    I'm sure this could somehow have been avoided by taking the lane.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  6. #6
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke View Post
    I'm sure this could somehow have been avoided by taking the lane.
    True, if the cyclist had not been too close to the magpie nest, he would have not been attacked. Notice no cars in the center of the traffic lane were attacked. Good insight by you, uke, now stop riding on the sidewalk.

  7. #7
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    True, if the cyclist had not been too close to the magpie nest, he would have not been attacked. Notice no cars in the center of the traffic lane were attacked. Good insight by you, uke, now stop riding on the sidewalk.
    Magpies never attack cars. They're in on the Autocentric Conspiracy is my bet.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  8. #8
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke View Post
    I'm sure this could somehow have been avoided by taking the lane.
    Stop flogging.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    But in this case, a stuffed cat on top of his head, might have prevented the magpie attack. Thereby preventing all type of injury to the cyclist.
    +++
    Indeed, this incident is another fine example of why we need Mandatory cat-on-head laws.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ilmooz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmorey View Post
    The Australian magpie can be vicious in the nesting season.

    They don't look all that vicious.

  11. #11
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    +++
    Indeed, this incident is another fine example of why we need Mandatory cat-on-head laws.
    Or wrapping it around your neck should do the trick.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Or wrapping it around your neck should do the trick.
    GAAAHHH! Brake lever extensions! He's goinna DIE, he's goinna DIE!

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  13. #13
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Or wrapping it around your neck should do the trick.
    That is one chill cat.

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    Peripheral Visionary spock's Avatar
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    The guy had it comin'. If you let a small bird land you in an ambulance, then maybe it's time you work on your skills. On the other hand, birds have been known to bring down big jets by flying into the engine, so you never know. Poor guy

  15. #15
    What is this demonry?! Szczuldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spock View Post
    The guy had it comin'. If you let a small bird land you in an ambulance, then maybe it's time you work on your skills. On the other hand, birds have been known to bring down big jets by flying into the engine, so you never know. Poor guy
    hey if a bird found it's way into your air intake you'd go down as well.....birds hit planes all the time and as long as it isn't in the engine chances are their flight plan won't change much.

    This story on the other hand has left me completely dumbfounded...how do you let a bird take you down, at first I thought it was another story of how a bird swooped on one of those KoM helmets, but no..he wasn't even wearing a helmet, what a waste. I was highly disappointed with the story. I'm still shocked what the hell the bird did to him to break his jaw, wrist, head injuries and plenty of road rash...maybe the magpie was going for his life but couldn't quite pick that pocket.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szczuldo View Post
    hey if a bird found it's way into your air intake you'd go down as well.....birds hit planes all the time and as long as it isn't in the engine chances are their flight plan won't change much.

    This story on the other hand has left me completely dumbfounded...how do you let a bird take you down, at first I thought it was another story of how a bird swooped on one of those KoM helmets, but no..he wasn't even wearing a helmet, what a waste. I was highly disappointed with the story. I'm still shocked what the hell the bird did to him to break his jaw, wrist, head injuries and plenty of road rash...maybe the magpie was going for his life but couldn't quite pick that pocket.
    I guess he was going fairly fast.







    The best magpie deterrent is to attached large backward-facing fake eyes on a stalk to your helmet.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Magpies are reasonably large birds. The beaks would make a mess of your scalp and certainly hurt like hell. If you had been hit, or almost hit, then I can easily see someone losing control for a moment and falling off their bike.

  18. #18
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Clearly the Magpie was at fault.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

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    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Magpie, eh? Aren't those the ones that go for shiny things? If the dood wasn't wearing a helmet, I bet he was bald. Or maybe his bike was too shiny--another lesson in why you should always be ridin' dirty. No word on his bling level, either. Coulda been the grill, too...

  20. #20
    Non-Custom Member zeytoun's Avatar
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    But in this case, a stuffed cat on top of his head, might have prevented the magpie attack.


    Clearly the Magpie was at fault.


    So I looked up magpies in Wikipedia, and learned a couple things.

    1) They are not a dessert

    2) The australian magpie is a different animal. It gets up to 17 inches long, and is omnivorous.

    I found this gem:

    Spring in Australia is magpie season, when a small minority of breeding magpies (almost always male birds) around the country become aggressive and swoop and attack those who approach their nests, especially bike riders.
    And then I found this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    they are generally known to attack pedestrians at around 50 m (150 ft) from their nest, and cyclists at around 100 m (300 ft).[52] Attacks begin as the eggs hatch, and increase in frequency and severity as the chicks grow, and tail off as the chicks leave the nest.[53]

    These magpies may engage in an escalating series of behaviours to drive off intruders. Least threatening are alarm calls and distant swoops, where birds fly within several metres from behind and perch nearby. Next in intensity are close swoops, where a magpie will swoop in from behind or the side and audibly "snap" their beaks or even peck or bite at the face, neck, ears or eyes. More rarely, a bird may dive-bomb and strike the intruder's (usually a cyclist's) head with its chest. A magpie may rarely attack by landing on the ground in front of a person and lurching up and landing on the victim's chest and peck at the face and eyes.[54]

    Magpie attacks can cause injuries, typically wounds to the head and particularly the eyes; the risks are of a detached retina and bacterial infection from a beak used to fossick in the ground.[55] Being unexpectedly swooped while cycling is not uncommon, and can result in loss of control of the bicycle, which may cause injury.[56].[57] A 13 year old boy died from tetanus, apparently from a magpie injury, in northern New South Wales in 1946.[55]
    A Magpie defending its territory from a Brown Goshawk

    To avoid swooping attacks, the best course of action is to avoid the territory of nesting magpies during the nesting season. Magpies are a protected native species in Australia, so it is illegal to kill or harm them. However, this protection is removed in some Australian States if a magpie attacks a human, allowing for the bird to be destroyed if considered particularly aggressive. (For an example, see section 54 of the South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act [58])

    If it is necessary to walk near the nest, the wearing of a broad-brimmed or legionnaires' hat or use of an umbrella will deter attacking birds; beanies and bicycle helmets are of little value as birds attack the sides of the head and neck.[59] Eyes painted on hats or helmets will deter attacks on pedestrians but not cyclists.[60] Attaching a long pole with a flag to a bike is an effective deterrent.[61] Magpies prefer to swoop at the back of the head; therefore, keeping the magpie in sight at all times can discourage the bird. Using a basic disguise to fool the magpie as to where a person is looking (such as painting eyes on a hat, or wearing sunglasses on the back of the head) can also prove effective. In some cases, magpies may become extremely aggressive and attack people's faces; it may become very difficult to deter these birds from swooping. Once attacked, shouting aggressively and waving one's arms at the bird should deter a second attack.
    I am a mutated sig Virus. Please put me in your sig so that I can continue to replicate and mutate, blah!.

  21. #21
    Everyday I Bring You More
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Obvious
    To avoid swooping attacks, the best course of action is to avoid the territory of nesting magpies during the nesting season.
    Such sage advice, I'll file it away with my "avoid burns by not touching something hot" placard.

  22. #22
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    I usually just waggle my fingers behind my head. Works fine. I see some people with arrays of wire ties on their helmet. Not sure how well it works, but it looks pretty ridiculous.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    remind me not to go cycling in Oz in the springtime - the worst I've had is a red-winged blackbird attack me - they're much smaller than magpies, more of an annoyance than a threat.

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