If you've ventured outdoors in recent months, you may well have experienced the indignity of being dive-bombed by an overly-agressive bird with delusions of grandeur. That's because it's nesting season and by walking or cycling past their tree, you're a threat.
Some facts (that I stole form this Australian Geographic article):
- 9-12% of all magpies swoop aggressively.
- Nearly all attacks take place during nesting, between August and November.
- 99% of swoops on humans are by male magpies.
- 52% of swooping magpies target pedestrians and ignore cyclists. They’ll also let most people walk by untroubled, swooping on just 35 per cent of them.
- 8% of aggressive birds target only cyclists, showing no interest in pedestrians but going for 65 per cent of passing bike riders.
- 29% of aggressive magpies target both cyclists and pedestrians.
- Sometimes swooping magpies target specific individuals – repeatedly attacking one person in a family and leaving the rest alone. They have long-term memories so can continue attacking an individual years later.