BEST OF 2023: Magpies are evil, rotten, malevolent, dead-eyed bastards. Fact check: true

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Swooping magpie in suburban street.

“So you’re minding your own business, far away from my nest? Not on my watch, buddy!” Photo: File.

Year in Review: Region is revisiting some of the best Opinion articles of 2023. Here’s what got you talking, got you angry and got you thinking in 2023. Today, David Murtagh reveals his deep hatred of magpies.

Nature is wonderful. The scent of flowers, whales breaching in crystal clear waters, rolling hills, fields of canola and a sunrise or sunset can all lift the soul. They are glorious. These moments make life worth living.

But magpies are bastards.

Magpies are proof of a vengeful God. Like wasps. And vegan bacon. There’s no reason for their being.

And before you ask, yes, this rant is the result of swooping. An incessant, good-for-nothing swooping. Magpies swoop and peck and harass and pester not because they need to, but because they can. Like a school bully. They also can’t be reasoned with.

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And don’t dare try to come to the defence of these malevolent disease bags. Which some people try to do. Madness.

“Awwww, but they have such pretty songs.” If their songs were so pretty they’d have a Spotify playlist. And for the record, there are plenty of birds with sweet tunes that don’t try to kill you.

And don’t dare start with the “magpies are just protecting their nest” trope. That’s fake news.

Protecting their nest? When was the last time you saw a cyclist 20 feet up a tree? Especially one on the wrong side of 100kg. Maybe 110kg. It doesn’t matter – that’s not important right now.

Put it this way, unless there’s a buffet in that nest, their nursery is safe.

Magpie swooping map 2020. Image: Magpie Alert.

Magpie Alert tracks the swooping hot spots across the country. Image: Magpie Alert.

The truth is, they’re not protecting their nest. At all. They’re just being bastards.

And here’s the kicker. Humans, who have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air (ha!), and over all the wild animals of the earth are powerless against magpies. Partly this is because of the Nature Conservation Act 2014 and the Animal Welfare Act 1992 which mean they’re a protected species. So be warned: they got to our parliamentarians.

Paranoid? Maybe. But they’re sneaky buggers. Put nothing past them.

Their attacks show their true evil. Like the terrorists they are, they attack when you least expect it, often from behind and often without provocation, and then soar off again looking for more victims. They attack not for food, of course, but for sport. They’re dentists to our Cecil the Lion.

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Do you think a dozen zip ties in your helmet like a Lycra Robert Smith is the cure? Fuggedaboutit.

Zip ties are useless, except to tell the world that you’ve been a victim, you’re scared and are prepared to sacrifice dignity for security. That’s a fool’s trade. If you’re going to be beaten, retain some pride. Better to be pecked on your feet than live on your knees. Under an umbrella. With eyes painted on it.

As for all those cyclists waving sticks above their head? Ha! You’re not safe. Not for a second. For a start, if you hit the blighters you could be fined. Magpies would love that. In fact, they’d like nothing more.

But when you’re waving a stick, they know they’ve got you on the run (so to speak). Your judgement is foggy, reflexes divided and you have less balance. You’re easier to dismount. The stick isn’t protection, it’s a target. Game on, they say. Because. They’re. Bastards.

Another excuse you’ll hear is: “Maybe they’ve had bad experiences with humans … you know, they’re really smart, they can remember faces. It’s probably our fault.”

These turncoats can’t be trusted. No matter the route, they’ll peck you out. Until this week, this human hadn’t been cycling through Phillip. This human has done nothing against them. That didn’t stop them. The problem isn’t us, it’s them.

IN 2023 Queensland & NSW recorded over half of all attacks. Photo: Magpie Alert.

The Magpie Alert website is a handy tool, charting attacks across the country. In 2022, Queensland dominated the statistics narrowly ahead of NSW with the tiny ACT accounting for 18% of all recorded attacks.

The theory, according to the ACT Government, is that “most magpie swooping occurs between August and October”.

Not so fast. It goes on: “Some magpies have been known to swoop as early as July and as late as December”.

In other words, there are no rules.

The advice continues: “Each individual magpie will only swoop for a period of six to eight weeks, if at all.”

That’s great news, but false hope. There’s not one magpie. There are many, many. Way too many.

At this point, you might expect a solution. A call to arms. But no. We are powerless. We are beaten.

The irony, of course, is that the people most likely to be swooped are walkers and cyclists. People doing the right thing for the planet by not driving. Magpies, on the other hand, are highly susceptible to climate change. Good.

So as you’re being swooped for the hundredth time, perhaps riding or running around Lake Albert, or kicking a ball around Bolton Park or hanging out with the kids at Wagga Beach. Look at the cars. Especially those cracking gas-guzzling carbon-belching V8s, SUVs and cranky diesels. They don’t get swooped. Sure the planet may shed a tear, but it’s your best defence against magpies.

And. They’re. Bastards.

Original Article published by David Murtagh on Riotact.

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