Vicious magpies are facing the death penalty

SIX-YEAR-OLD Matilda Rounds is still recovering from a vicious magpie attack on Rusforth Rd at the weekend.

And the culprit's days could be numbered as the Clarence Valley Council is applying to National Parks and Wildlife for either the removal or the death of the bird.

A magpie, which was terrorising players and spectators at the Grafton Hockey fields, "met his maker" last Thursday at dawn according to the council's director of environment, planning and communities Des Schroder.

Another magpie was also shot at Alex Bell Park a couple of weeks ago and the council has its eye on one bird not far from the TAFE at Villiers St as well as this Rusforth Rd aggressor.

Matilda's mum Samantha was shocked by the way the magpie attacked her daughter as they were walking back to the car near the soccer fields.

"She started running to the car and the magpie came at her and kept attacking her face," Samantha said.

"She stood there screaming and I was running toward her and told her to run for the car.

"She fell over and I started swinging my handbag as the magpie turned on me too.

"I've never seen anything like it.

"I've seen them swoop but not scratch and claw at the face."

When a dangerous magpie is reported to the council, rangers investigate and if it's found to be "a real public threat", the council asks permission of National Parks and Wildlife to either remove or kill the bird.

Mr Schroder reckons the problem seemed to be worse this year with males protecting territory and said there had been an incident where a man was knocked off his motorbike after being swooped.

However, the ranger did tell him that putting down a magpie was not always the best outcome as the females would replace their mate and the next bird could be even worse.

Samantha said Matilda was "doing okay" but was still emotionally a little shaken from the incident.

"One centimetre away and it would have been in her eyeball," she said.

To report a vicious magpie, phone the council's customer service line on 6643 0200.

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