ALL NEWS

Australian man dies after attack by a swooping magpie

Sep 15, 2019, 10:06 PM
Australian magpie outside during the day time....
Australian magpie outside during the day time.

AUSTRALIA, (CNN) — A cyclist died in Australia on Sunday after being startled by a swooping magpie, a native Australian bird that gets aggressive in the spring around breeding season.

The 76-year-old man was riding his bike in Nicholson Park in Wollongong, south of Sydney, when he veered off the path to avoid a swooping magpie, according to Wollongong Police.

He then crashed into a fence post, was thrown to the ground, and suffered serious head injuries. The man was airlifted to Sydney’s St. George Hospital and died that evening, police said.

Magpie swooping season occurs each year across the country in September and October, during Australia’s springtime. This year, the season started early after a warm winter, according to CNN affiliate Seven News.

The territorial birds begin breeding in August and often swoop to protect their young from perceived threats.

Visitors to Australia might notice people walking around carrying large sticks, or bike riders wearing helmets with a dozen zip ties positioned so they stick up into the air.

Just over a foot in length, magpies can cause quite a bit of damage with their sharp beaks and sudden attacks — last year, a toddler in Perth narrowly avoided being blinded by a magpie after it swooped down and attacked his face as he sat in a pram.

So far this year, there have been 1,570 swoopings nationwide, resulting in 189 injuries, according to the community-run Magpie Alert website. The number will likely go up — last season, there were more than 3,000 reported swoopings.

The highest number of reported attacks so far this year are along Australia’s east coast, in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.

Magpies are a protected native species in Australia and it’s illegal to kill them or take their eggs or chicks. Local councils will act if one is reported to be a real menace, otherwise, residents are urged to stay away from trees where they are known to breed.

Magpie Alert warns that injuries tend to occur when cyclists fall off their bikes during an attack, like the man in Wollongong. Of all the attacks reported on the site, almost 70% occurred while people were cycling, 22% happened when people walked by.

To stay safe during swooping season, cyclists are advised to get off their bike during an attack, and to keep calm instead of flailing — which may come across as aggressive behavior and provoke the birds further.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Troy Dunn, founder of the Location Foundation, appears on an episode of Dr. Phil. Photo credit: Des...
Mark Jones

Locator Foundation working to reunite loved ones with one another

The Locator Foundation is working to reunite family members who have become separated from one another and haven't been able to reconnect.
1 day ago
Martin Gold, a visiting scholar with the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, says the Filibuster is critical...
Mark Jones

Filibuster is critical if country is to maintain compromise, expert says

A visiting scholar to the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation told Inside Sources Friday how important the filibuster is to compromise.
1 day ago
Two hands holding a green plant by the soil above empty pots...
Michelle Lee

Transplanting houseplants? Here are some tips!

SALT LAKE CITY – If you’re growing houseplants, there’s something you need to be familiar with, and that is transplanting. Transplanting houseplants is something you have to do every so often, depending on the type of plant. “Some houseplants will go for several years without needing it, and others need to be transplanted at least […]
1 day ago
A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
1 day ago
Salt Lake City Police say three sticks of dynamite were safely removed from a house this week by it...
Mark Jones

Three sticks of dynamite removed from Salt Lake City home

Three sticks of dynamite were removed from a Salt Lake City home on Wednesday, the SLCPD announced. The dynamite have been seized for investigation.
1 day ago
A study by Intermountain Health that spanned 40 years and sought answers about the health of people...
Simone Seikaly

Intermountain’s 40-year study provides insight into weight-loss surgery

In some cases the results from the weight-loss surgery study were expected. But at least one result could be a cause for alarm and caution.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Australian man dies after attack by a swooping magpie