North Lakes Locals Beware! QLD Has the Most Magpie Swooping Attacks Compared to Other Australian States

Photo credit: CC-BY/Department of Environment & Primary Industries /Flickr

Statistics show that Queensland ranks as the top Australian state with the highest number of reported magpie swooping attacks in 2018, including those reported by North Lakes locals.

Photo Credit: Toby Hudson/Wikimedia Commons

For 2018, Magpie Alert!—a social website dedicated to tracking magpie swooping attacks against cyclists, runners, and walkers across Australia—has so far recorded a total of 3,599 reported attacks and 500 of which have resulted in injuries. Data and graphs are updated automatically to reflect the latest reports of magpie swooping attacks.

Photo Credit: Magpie Alert/magpiealert.com

Among Australian states, Queensland makes up 28.1 per cent of reported attacks followed by Victoria with 22.3% and New South Wales with 22.1 per cent.

Photo Credit: Magpie Alert/magpiealert.com

More than half of the swooping attack happen to victims while riding their bikes at 66.9 per cent and 23.2 per cent while walking. Of those who reported the attacks, 13.9 per cent said that they were injured.

Photo Credit: Magpie Alert/magpiealert.com

Magpie swooping attacks can result in skin injuries, eye injuries, and on rare instances, result in fatal outcome. However, many injuries are indirect results, such tripping over or falling off a bike. Magpie swooping attacks usually happen during the mating season, mostly from male birds trying to protect their young.

Magpie Alert! advises residents to be alert and pay attention to any magpie nesting sites, wear sunglasses and hat/helmet, and not to provoke these territorial magpies. Magpies are thought to have good memories. So, when you have already been attacked before, it is advisable to change route and not return to the same location.

Photo Credit: Toby Hudson/Wikimedia Commons

Some actions you can take to discourage magpies from nesting in your yard, according to the Brisbane City Council:

  • do not feed magpies, ensure no scraps of food or rubbish are left lying around
  • remove unnecessary sources of water from the backyard (if magpies are causing nuisance)
  • do not remove nests or eggs and never touch a young bird. If you are concerned for the safety of the young, phone Council’s Nativa Animal Ambulance on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)
  • do not disturb the birds when there are fledglings in the nest
  • do not throw objects at the bird or destroy the nest as this will increase their defence efforts
  • expect an elevated level of swooping activity during the breeding season between June and December.