Watch a Flock of Tenacious Birds Turn Into WWII Bombers and Attack a Bicyclist

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: March 10, 2023
© Aviceda / Creative Commons / Original
Share this post on:

A biker in Australia posted a video of the attack, in which the magpie can be seen continuously diving toward the cyclist’s helmet. How come magpies swoop? 

The birds are merely acting as good parents by keeping their young safe during the springtime. As a result, while the rider yells that the magpie that attacked him is “off his bloody head,” it’s actually simply trying to protect their young.

In this region of Australia, magpie strikes are widespread, especially upon bikers because the birds are supposedly more cautious around fast-moving individuals. Magpies frequently swoop down and strike at people with their feet, usually going for the head. They have a tendency to be relentless, coming back to strike repeatedly. 

magpie in flight
Magpies often form friendships with people, despite reports of attacks.


There is a website specifically for documenting magpie attacks, and in the past, there have been a few incidences and injuries in the Wollongong region. In extreme circumstances, the results can be detrimental and even fatal; in Wollongong in 2019, a man passed away after colliding with his bike after being attacked by a magpie.

“Magpies can be quite territorial and there’s going to be a lot going on in their particular areas,” says local vet Paul Partland. There are several recommendations for keeping the magpies away, mostly centering on helmet modifications like reflective panels and even spikes, however, the effectiveness of these is contested.

Magpie Facts

Normally, birds flock away at the mere sound of a human walking. These birds are unique in the fact that they go toward humans when near. The Magpie is the Corvid (Crow) family member that is the easiest to recognize thanks to its black and white coloring, long tail, enormous size, and rattling cry.

Magpies are thought to be thieves who will steal your sparkling jewelry or lawn decorations, but recent research suggests that magpies are likely to be scared off by dazzling items. 

The myth appears to have developed without much scientific evidence, yet the truth is always helpful. Crows are the ones that are known to bring people shiny objects.  

Using reflective materials in yards may repel magpies and prevent crops from being rolled over and trampled. Magpies are capable of destroying crops by burrowing for grains, berries, and other food sources.

These birds have been reported to take other birds’ eggs and even young chicks despite having a rather varied natural diet that includes bugs, small rodents, grain, and fruits. 

Moreover, magpies have made a good adjustment to suburban life and frequently consume leftover food leftovers. Nonetheless, it’s preferable to feed them quality bird food to make sure they don’t consume anything harmful.

A top comment on the video of the magpie attacking the biker says you can actually befriend these birds. “You have to make friends with them. I’ve got one who visits about 5 times a day. Cones to the back door and raps on the glass several times for food. Learn to coexist with them. They’re not vicious, just defensive.” 

Watch the bird defend its young in the video below! 


Up Next:

More from A-Z Animals

The Featured Image

Magpie — sharp focus with faded background
© Aviceda / Creative Commons / Original

Share this post on:
About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.