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Usually, the Magpies I’ve encountered only peck my helmet or side swoop my sunglasses but today was a totally different story. While cycling I was attacked by a Magpie that was intent on drawing blood. He attacked me three times, each time aiming directly for my cheek. There was no polite warning or attempt to intimidate, just a determination to draw blood! I therefore feel compelled to write and warn any fellow cyclists, runners or outdoor enthusiasts as follows:

  • There is currently a seasonal “turf war” raging by the Magpie gang. If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, you may get caught in the fray, just like I did today.
  • The Magpies wear their black and white colours with great pride. They are easy to spot, even although they don’t tend to hang around in large groups.
  • Magpies are currently armed and dangerous. They display their weapons publicly and fearlessly – large grey beaks with missile precision.
  • Avoid stopping in Magpie territory at all costs. It is impossible to avoid passing through their territory but stopping is the most dangerous and is likely to result in an unprovoked attack.
  • Wear protective gear at all times, especially head gear.
  • Travel in groups if you can, although this is no guarantee that you will not be attacked.
  • Use all imaginative contraptions you can think of to fend them off.
    Examples include: place a multitude of cable ties upright and dancing on your helmet; squawk loudly like a crow every time you see a Magpie gang member until you can no longer see it; wear an orange coloured Strava shirt – the colour and the indication of your prowess as an athlete may save you.
  • Use a good anti-septic should you have any wounds as a result of this turf war.

Good luck and please share your Magpie experiences and defense strategies here so we can all help each other!