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Cyclist-attacking magpies remember their victims

Expert predicts bumper season of attacks Down Under

“If they think you’re a threat, they will follow you and attack you for years," says behavioural ecologist Darryl Jones. He predicts that there are going to be more magpie attacks in Queensland this year following an unusually mild winter.

About nine percent of Australian magpies become aggressive during nesting season. A national survey found that in nearly half of attacks, the person on the receiving end is a cyclist. They tend to approach from behind. We published a video of one attack in 2014.

Jones told the Courier Mail that because of the weather, magpies started nesting in July this year – “which is just crazy.” He said this was around six to eight weeks earlier than normal.

“They’ll have one whole lot of chicks before they have their normal lot of chicks. It’s going to be a long season, I’m pretty sure. Magpies only attack when there are chicks in the nest, so if there are going to be more chicks, there are going to be more attacks.”

He also said: “If you’ve been attacked in the past, you’ll probably get attacked in the future.”

ABC reports that Australian cyclists can make use of the Magpie Alert website to track aggressive magpies in their area.

"If you want to go for a walk or cycle, check the website first to see if they are swooping in the area and then just change your route," said creator Jon Clark.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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