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-   -   Help! I am under attack! (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/137109-help-i-am-under-attack.html)

jur 09-08-05 04:50 PM

Help! I am under attack!
 
For several mornings I have been attacked/ swooped on by a magpie. Gave me quite a fright the first time. They wait untill you are past then dive down from the back on your head. It pecks my helmet as it dives.

Spring is in the air... I need to get a pair of stick-on eyes for my helmet.

Anybody else getting attacked by local wildlife?

Patriot 09-08-05 05:07 PM

Take along a 12ga shotgun. :)

bostontrevor 09-08-05 05:18 PM

http://www.zweknu.org/blog/index.rht...&c=T&ft=T#p720

Bikemiker 09-08-05 05:53 PM

That has never happened to me, and the way I zone out on some rides, I would probably have a heart attack if it did.
Hmmmm... Let's see. How about industrial strength fly paper attatched to the helmet. While the bird is captive, give it a long, stern lecture on sharing the road. Put the fear of bike into it and then let it go free to educate it's other feathered friends... Or, maybe wear a cat or a bird of prey on your helmet.
(Disclaimer: I don't actually condone either of these solutions for anyone who isn't a cartoon character.)

Dead Extra #2 09-08-05 05:59 PM

Tennis raquet?

linux_author 09-08-05 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patriot
Take along a 12ga shotgun. :)

- not sporting, old chap [slight sniff, adjust of Barbour Northumberland Range jacket]... .410 ga would be more of the 'bit of community, wot?

:-)

Cyclaholic 09-08-05 06:15 PM

I have a golf course at the end of my street barely 150 yards away, it's a major base for the magpie airforce. Around here they attack in squadron formation!

Try the 'bait & splat' maneouver.... you bait them by doing a slow ride-by in the early afternoon with the sun behind you, you'll be able to anticipate the attack by watching the shaddows and splat them with your weapon of choice. A tennis or squash racket is ideal.

....or you could attach a little scarecrow to the top of your helmet! :p

ellenDSD 09-08-05 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patriot
Take along a 12ga shotgun. :)

Ya reckon Nashbar has a mount for that? ;)

New2Cycling 09-08-05 06:34 PM

Maybe you could spray some dog repellent at it. I think they make holders for the dog repellent. Not sure if it would hurt the bird or not.

jyossarian 09-08-05 06:53 PM

Wear a football helmet.

lilHinault 09-08-05 06:55 PM

I read somewhere that in one area, riders put these two wires sticking up on their helmets, that look like antennae sticking back. It screws up the birds' dive-bombing, they still attack but dont' get so close.

Patriot 09-08-05 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ellenDSD
Ya reckon Nashbar has a mount for that? ;)

No, but I do think they have full choke attachments and Magnum birdshot loads. :D

lilHinault 09-08-05 07:02 PM

Carry a .22 pistol with "snake shot" hehe.

Roody 09-08-05 07:36 PM

Try a different helmet. The color or glare probably attracts the bird.

Mentor58 09-08-05 07:41 PM

mount a couple of mylar pinwheels on your helmet. That should scare them off, and adds an element to your kit that can't be duplicated at ANY price.

Steve W.

Cyrrus25 09-08-05 07:42 PM

You're probably riding past a nest. I'd suggest putting brightly colored (ie: yellow or bright red) eye-like spots on both the front and back of your helmet. The antenna thing might work too. It should cause enough confusion to get you far enough away to satisfy paranoid bird parents.

jur 09-08-05 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lilHinault
I read somewhere that in one area, riders put these two wires sticking up on their helmets, that look like antennae sticking back. It screws up the birds' dive-bombing, they still attack but dont' get so close.

Hey! I saw that yesterday on an old geezer's helmet, I thought they were his antennae...

bkrownd 09-08-05 08:04 PM

Glue a big plastic garden scare-owl onto your helmet. Something like Sheldon Brown got on his. This would scare anything:

http://sheldonbrown.com/images/scb_eagle.jpeg

jur 09-08-05 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mentor58
mount a couple of mylar pinwheels on your helmet. That should scare them off, and adds an element to your kit that can't be duplicated at ANY price.

Steve W.

Hah! I've an idea. Watch this space for the solution...

quatrecats 09-08-05 08:20 PM

I have been attacked by redwing blackbirds--figure they are nesting, and just sing back to them! And have a good laugh, after all, I have a helmet protecting my noggin!

VerticalDrop 09-09-05 08:56 AM

I too have been attacked by redwing blackbirds. Some pulled hair the first time past... I did a high speed pass the second time (on my road bike) which allowed me enough distance the bird gave up the chase. My visiting cousin didn't get enough speed on one of the later passes and had a bloodied neck to show for it.

I was thinking an airhorn to sonically scare the bejeebers out of it- never tried it out though.

-Scott

cedo 09-09-05 09:54 AM

I'm not an ornitholgoist so I had to look it up.

From Wikipedia

Swooping
Magpies tend not to be afraid of people, and they live in urban areas as often as in the bush, so magpies are a familiar sight to most Australians, and their melodic song is widely enjoyed. However, if magpies feel threatened while nesting (typically in August-September in southern Australia), even by an inadvertent intrusion into their territory, they will often swoop at the intruder in an attempt to drive them away. Magpies generally swoop from behind, and without warning, so attacks can be somewhat terrifying, particularly to children. For this reason, local authorities sometimes post warning signs during "swooping season", particularly in urban parks. Magpie attacks sometimes cause injuries, typically minor wounds to the scalp: however, this is uncommon. Cyclists can also be at risk, as they are unable to discourage the attack by turning to face the swooping bird: an attack may cause a cyclist to fall off or change course unexpectedly in traffic.

To avoid swooping attacks, the best course is to avoid the territory of nesting magpies during the relatively brief nesting season (magpies ignore people for most of the year). It is illegal to provoke magpies (by throwing stones at them or destroying nests) as it is likely to make them more aggressive and they are a protected native species.

If it is necessary to walk near the nest, some people prefer to wear protection. 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 (like painting eyes on a hat, or wearing sunglasses on the back of the head) can also prove effective. Rarely, if a bird presents a serious nuisance the local authorities will arrange for that bird to be eliminated.

joelpalmer 09-09-05 10:15 AM

and i thought the squirrels here at work throwing nuts at my office mate were bad :D

Wulfheir 09-09-05 11:04 AM

get black construction paper. cut two 2" diameter holes. tape them side by side on the top of your helmet. when the magpie sees the two big black circles, he thinks it's a predator's big eyes and flies away.

max-a-mill 09-09-05 11:38 AM

birds will only attack the highest point (at least seagulls). when we used to walk through seagull nesting sites we used to hold a stick over our heads... they'd attack the top of the stick.


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