Magpie attacks prompt a warning sign
A SPREE of magpie attacks in the South Burnett has led a Kingaroy man to place a warning sign near his property.
William Johnson, who lives on Doonkuna St, said he came up with the idea after one particularly vicious magpie attack.
"I was out doing the gardening one afternoon and an old fella was walking down my street," Mr Johnson said.
"The magpie swooped down and hit him on the head and made him bleed.
"I thought I'd be nice and warn people because a lot of people walk up that street."
Magpies are known to swoop humans and animals during their breeding season between July and December, with the peak swooping month being September.
Most magpies will accept the presence of people within their territories, although attacks usually occur within a 100 metre radius of their nest.
According to Magpie Alert, a website dedicated to documenting attacks, magpie maps and statistics, Queensland documented the highest number of magpie attacks of all time, consisting of 25% of the country's attacks. Cyclists made up 70% of victims.
Mr Johnson said the birds had resided on the corner of Doonkuna and Moonya Sts since he moved in about nine months ago, but they became more aggressive after a group of children tormented them.
As a result, the magpies now apparently prefer to attack children, but will still target adults and postmen.
"They're pretty nice to me because I throw them food every now and then, although the male is (very aggressive)," Mr Johnson said.
"It swoops everything, it doesn't matter what it is and he will fly a good 100 metres to get you."
Mr Johnson said he hoped the sign would make people aware they were walking into magpie territory.
"I think most people get scared from the initial first swoop because they don't expect it," he said.
"I've found if you make eye contact with them they won't swoop you and if you see them they can't sneak up on you."