ON THE LOOKOUT: Kingaroy mother Erin Bock with her three-year-old daughter Alexis.
ON THE LOOKOUT: Kingaroy mother Erin Bock with her three-year-old daughter Alexis. Rhiannon Tuffield

Mother still haunted by vicious magpies

ERIN Bock was just eight years old when she was swooped by a magpie for the first time and has never quite recovered from the experience.

Mrs Bock was riding her bike at the time when a lone magpie unleashed a ferocious attack on the then young girl.

"It just kept coming for me - dive bombing, swooping and bashing itself into me until I fell off my bike,” Mrs Bock said.

"It pecked at my helmet until mum managed to get it away from me and it was incredibly scary.”

Now 27, she has two young children of her own and is wary when magpie season rolls around.

Recently Mrs Bock was walking with her children at the walking path near Kingaroy's sporting grounds when she was again targeted.

Although Mrs Bock has experienced a number of attacks, she says she hasn't managed to discover an effective tactic to fend the birds off.

"The magpie's appearance definitely plays into the scare factor,” Mrs Bock said.

"If I see a magpie in swooping season and I have no way of avoiding it, I just keep watch of it and have something handy to swing if it makes an attempt to swoop.

"Last week I wrapped a baby blanket around my hand like a giant boxing glove and waved it about.”

As we near spring, the South Burnett's swooping magpies have come out in force, ready to take on postman, dog walkers and children who appear to be a threat to their chicks.

Most swoops are carried out by male magpies defending their eggs and chicks that are in the nest for about six to eight weeks between July and November.

An increased number of residents have taken to social media to comment on the issue, with many complaining of attacks in the region.

South Burnett Times readers revealed the magpie hot spots to avoid during breeding season.

Hot spots have included Doonkuna St, Moonya St, Geritz Rd, the Avoca St walking track and the Ivy St car park in Kingaroy as well as Crawford, Blackbutt, Taabinga and Benarkin state schools and the bike park across from Nanango State School.

A map can be found by visiting the South Burnett Times website and searching magpie hot spots.