Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Every day

When we're riding it happens every day. It has to do with the breeding season. Some of the males are loaded with testosteron and they become extremely territorial. It seems that their testes grow enormously, though they will still have a diameter of less than 1 cm. For a bird that should be a lot though. I'm talking of the magpie. Don't think of the European species with the same name. The only likeness is the black and white colouring. And maybe the size. Their silhouet though, and their flight are completely different.
They come from behind, sometimes shrieking, sometimes by complete surprise. They swoop over your head and scratch the helmet, compulsary here fortunately, or even your ears or neck.
You cannot do much about it, they will attack walkers and cyclists. Some cyclists have a number of cable ties (tie wraps) fixed on their helmets, with the ends up in the air. It seems to help, but I don't want to be seen like that. People say that you should stick images of eyes on the helmet, that would make them stay away. I have not seen many shops in Queensland so far that I suspect would be selling such stuff. So we ride totally unprotected and when it happens we wave our hands above our heads and hope the best of it. I even tried once to explain that I have a visa, pay my taxes in time and thus that I'm fully entitled to be there, but they don't seem to be interested. Until now nothing serious has happened.
Yesterday though, we were close to Boonah, we were vigorously attacked. This was a serious one. It hit Eveline on the helmet and it managed to scratch my right ear. Klerevogel! When all this happened a young woman on a bike (an exception as such) came towards us from the opposite direction. She saw it all and she was laughing. She waved at us from the other side of the road and shouted: “He attacks me every day!”

1 comment:

  1. Magpies in spring time - ah the bane of Aussie bike riders each spring. And yes, cautious public officials put up signs warning of particularly persistent dive bombers. Researchers at the Australian National University have tested a number of approaches to solving this problem. Their test results should not suprise Europeans. See:
    A study on the efficacy of helmet adornments in repelling magpies.