Once again, I’m not sure why I waste my time reading the so-called articles on news.com.au because I get far too angry. And that’s before I even get to the reader comments! Today’s little gem is the article about a three year old getting swooped by a magpie, who may or may not lose some/all vision in one eye as the magpie wasn’t deterred by the child’s yells. There’s been a fair bit of publicity about swooping magpies this season, and naturally there are two distinct sides as to what to do about it.
The comments on this particular article are a fine example of the two vastly different opinions. On one hand, some share my view that this is what happens every year for as long as these birds have existed and that you need to be cautious when in an area known to contain nesting magpies. After all, this only happens for just over one month a year (between late-August early-October), so it shouldn’t be such a big deal that we keep away from affected areas or at least wear appropriate headwear when passing through.
But no, the jerks all come out, declaring them to be a horrible pest who maim and kill our precious children, so they must all be culled so we can live in peace. Never mind the fact there’s only ever been reports of one kid dying from a magpie attack back in 1946 and that was from tetanus. A kid died from being hit by a car after being swooped by a magpie last year, but the magpie didn’t intend for that to happen, he just wanted to protect his territory. But nah, that’s not good enough, and won’t somebody PLEASE think of the CHILDREN??!!
Look, it sucks for anyone who’s been hurt by a magpie. Personally I’ve never been attacked and as far as I’m aware, never even been swooped. I lived in the country for the first 9 years of my life, and then on the back of a huge park next to a creek, surrounded by bushland until I was in my early 20s. I visit my mum every other week and we go on long walks in various parks and I’ve never been attacked once (I have been swooped by plovers but I was trying to spy on the cute little babies and I carried a branch above my head, so I knew what I was in for). In fact I can only think of one person ever claiming to have been hurt while being swooped and while it did draw some blood, he had no real misgivings about it because that’s what happens in Australia this time of year. FANCY THAT!
My fear is that the boon’s will all be out trying to kill poor magpie’s after this extra publicity and so hundreds of innocent birds will be tortured because one kid got a peck in the eye in Toowoomba. I was horrified when I heard about how many flying foxes were killed, tortured, mutilated and left to die because of the Hendra virus scare we had in Queensland a few months ago, just because horses can catch the virus from bat poop which affected about four humans and a dog. I dread to think how many magpies will be harmed as a result of this “bad press”.
Anyway, my comment got published (which is rare for me, my comments rarely make the cut) and fortunately most of the commenters seem to be against culling these magnificent birds as well.