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Friday, October 7, 2022

Cyclists in Australia on alert for swooping magpies

Cyclists pass by a sign warning people of swooping magpies

WOLLONGONG, Australia: Riders are bracing for an unusual threat at the world cycling championships in Australia this week — swooping magpies.

Wollongong, a coastal city 80 kilometres south of Sydney that is hosting the eight-day event from Sunday, is home to flocks of the notoriously territorial black-and-white birds.

September is peak swooping season as magpies seek to protect their young in the nest, which can include dive-bombing people on bikes they perceive as a threat.

“Magpies can be quite territorial and there’s going to be a lot going on in their particular areas,” Paul Partland from the Illawarra Animal Hospital told local radio station Wave FM.


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