Caught on camera: Magpie swoops postal worker

Our swooping magpie attacks are the worst in the country

NEW data has revealed what the state's cyclists and pedestrians have long feared - Queenslanders endure the most magpie attacks in the country.

The data from Magpie Alert, a website dedicated to helping people track the winged assailants, shows Queensland has had more reports of the swooping birds than any other state.

Since 2013, Queenslanders have reported 3845 attacks by the black and white birds. The next closest state was NSW with 3693.

About 16 per cent of attacks nationwide have resulted in injuries

Jon Clark started the site about five years ago after being attacked by a magpie while cycling.

"I've been building websites for about 20 years and I thought I could build something to help warn other people so I did," Mr Clark said.

"They might be small animals but they've got quite big hard sharp beaks and I think they're pretty determined as well so there's that innate fear for people - nobody likes something attacking them."


When magpies swoop passers-by they are simply protecting their nest and young. 
Photo Chris Ison / Morning Bulletin
Since 2013, Queenslanders have reported about 3500 attacks by the black and white birds, with 16 per cent of those resulting in injuries. Chris Ison


Mr Clark said the higher rate of attacks in Queensland could be due to the warmer weather and increased human presence outside in the birds' habitat.

"There's been a lot of cheek pecking and cheek gashing and earlobes being pecked this year," he said.

"Luckily we haven't seen as many eye injuries.

"We're still getting a lot of people falling off their bikes."

Pierrick Wainschtein was one of the many people to report being attacked by one of the most prolific attacking magpies in Brisbane this season.

The magpie, which was terrorising pedestrians and cyclists at Jerdanefield Road, St Lucia, injured more than 15 people according to the attack map.

"I was biking to university and it came at me three times," he said.

"There was no warning it was just straight away pecking me and I was bleeding from my nose at four different points."

Magpie season is underway with swooping becoming more frequent in Gladstone.

Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer
Christopher Chan GLA200912MAGP

Mr Wainschtein, who comes from France, said the attack was "quite frightening".

Wildlife management specialist Bryan Robinson said male birds swooped to protect their young.

"You've only got three per cent of the population that actually swoop so it's a very small number," he said.

"It's all based around nest protection and the home range the fledglings are going to utilise."