Travel

WTF, Australia: Magpies

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Evil little fuckers.

A few months ago, as we were watching the news during dinner, the newscaster broke away from their usual reports of shark sightings and a simultaneously flooding and burning America (there’s more but… not really) to remind us that the magpies would start attacking again soon.

Just a casual reminder.

No one else at the table seemed phased. They just had a good laugh at the video clips they show of people getting swooped by a flurry of beak and talons.

Casual.

I, on the other hand, was freaking the fuck out. “What is their deal?” I asked, “What do you do if one gets you? They’re just lurking in the trees?”

Apparently, these cunty birds think that I’m going to bother climbing up a tree and take their stupid, useless babies, so they choose to swoop anyone who comes near them. But I still didn’t know what to do in case I found myself getting swooped at. Run? Fight it off? Carry a weapon? Everyone seemed to shrug it off, as if that’s just something you will inevitably deal with. I couldn’t help but think that if this was Texas, all of the magpies would have been shot dead a long time ago.

Flash forward a few weeks: The sun is shining, it’s a gorgeous spring morning, and I’m ambling home from my bronzing time. Not really paying much attention, I glance up from my phone to see a bird, flying about chest height, coming straight at me.

‘Hmm… Is that bird going to…change its flight path?’

At which point it whizzes right by my head and I’m like Fuck! Magpie! It’s happening!

I only manage an unhelpful half-scream before it swoops down again, feathers brushing past my arm. I retreat, but not before it is satisfied. One final dive, black and white feathers, and the little fucker is sitting on top of his tree, glaring at me. Probably having a good laugh. I made sure to shoot him the bird as a final salute.

 

P. S. According to this somewhat hilarious website I found, MagpieAlert, there have been over 4,000 magpie attacks in Australia since 2015. But no plan of defense. Really, Australia?