Magpie swooping season has started early
IF you like walking and riding your bike and keeping your eyes and scalp intact, well we have got some bad news for you.
According to the Australian Bird Study Association (sounds legit), magpie swooping season has started early this year.
"Public service announcement - Magpie swooping season has started!" they tweeted, putting fear into the heart of every Australian on Twitter.
They issued the announcement in response to a Sydney resident tweeting about his real life angry birds moment:
The Australian Bird Study Association helpfully shared a link to the Magpie Alert page, which has a handy Swooping Magpie Attack Map as well as some terrifying accounts of recent swooping episodes.
July 23, Walker Street, St Kilda, VIC:
"We were walking along the footpath going for breakfast minding our own business when a giant magpie swooped down and attacked my 6ft4 friend. He had unfortunately been on a 15-hour long bender and then did a night shift at work so he wasn't in the greatest of states. It was traumatic and 100% unprovoked"
July 18, Old Windsor Rd, Glenwood, NSW:
Swooped me several times; first one hit me on the right cheek; had an incident on the exact same spot two years ago so I guess it's the same f*cking bird; early this year.
July 17, Scott St, Willoughby NSW:
"Stepped out to talk to my dad on the phone while eating a pink lady Kanzi apple. I was swooped without warning as the Magpie attempted to get my apple. Not happy."
July 16, State Route 3, Melbourne, VIC:
"Small magpie attacked my left eye".
Usually male magpies swoop only during mating season in spring due to a huge increase in testosterone where they basically become over protective dads.
The mating season can vary from state to state but generally is between late August to late October, with the occasional borderline case.
This year things seem to have well and truly kicked off in early July, if the reports are anything to go by.
Last year was a particularly bad year for swooping injuries.
In October last year we reported that there had been an increase in the number of eye injuries from swooping magpies.
The number of magpie related injuries rose so much that the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne warned the public to be extra cautious about attacks.
"Normally, we might see one or two a month," the hospital's emergency director, Dr Carmel Crock told ABC radio.
"But in July (2017) we saw 14 cases of bird eye injuries. August 2017 there were 12."
These safety tips will hopefully help you get through the rest of swooping season without injury:
* Avoid magpie hot spots
* Protect your eyes and head by wearing sunglasses and a hat
* If a magpie is swooping you stay calm and move quickly but don't run, if you panic then you might provoke further attack.
* If you do get attacked log the location so others can avoid it