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Photo by Simon Monk

This bird is common throughout Australia and best known for its melodious song, typically heard at dawn. They also have a nasty habit of swooping on unsuspecting visitors that come too close to their nests during the nesting season from August to October.
One such attack occurred in a park in Canberra in October 2000 when four year old Jennelle Ferry was hit in her right eye by a magpie and was permanently blinded, later the Supreme Court ordered the local council that owned the park to pay $172,000 in compensation.

A 51 year old man was cycling across Tom's Bridge north of Morwel in Melbourne and crashed his bicycle after a magpie attacked him. An ambulance took him to the Latrobe Regional Hospital where he remained with serious head injuries in a critical condition. A year before a 74 year old Mildura man died after a magpie attack in which he received a serious eye injury.

If you want to minimize the risk of being attacked riding your bike around Melbourne, there is a website where you can find where the magpies nest and avoid these places.

The Department of Sustainability and Environment says magpies swoop in spring to protect their chicks and territory, and they suggest travelling in a group or avoiding certain areas.

Are you a bird enthusiast? Write the magpie page for us!

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