Swooping magpies: Sydney man repeatedly attacked in Mount Annan


The terrifying moment a man was repeatedly attacked by a magpie on his daily walk has been captured on security footage.

A Sydney man has been repeatedly attacked by a territorial magpie while walking through a park in Sydney’s west.

The man was strolling through Thornleigh Gully at Mount Annan, near the The Ponds, when he was attacked.

Security footage captured the terrifying moment as it unfolded.

Vision shows the man running from the bird who repeatedly swoops him. He drops an item while trying to escape the bird before returning to collect it, but the magpie swoops again.

Clearly defeated the man raised his hands to the sky and appeared to speak to the bird before turning around and walking away.

The following day a warning was posted on the ‘Magpie Alert’ website for the exact same spot in Mount Annan.

A man named Brian posted the warning, detailing how he had been attacked.

“I was quietly walking by myself in the middle of the day along a path I use multiple times a day when I was swooped,” the man wrote.

“I dropped to the ground, cutting open my knee.

“Having waited for a bit I got to my feet to walk away and the magpie swooped again. To get away without further attacks I got a lift home by my partner.”

It is unclear if the man in the vision was Brian but the security footage was captured just after 1pm on October 5 while the alert was posted 24 hours later.

According to the Magpie Alerts website, a number of attacks have been reported in the Mount Annan area over the last two months.

Mount Annan is also home to a Botanic Gardens where magpies frequent and have been reported to target cyclists.

So far this year there have been 4516 reports of magpie attacks across Australia with 573 of those resulting in injuries.

Magpies usually nest in spring, and begin swooping to protect their nests and eggs from mid-September onwards.

Male magpies often defend their territory against real or perceived threats to their eggs. But their behaviour only lasts until the chicks become fledglings – a young bird.

Last month Sydney’s Lane Cove Council pledged to cull overly-protective magpies, which are a protected species in NSW, after a number of violent attacks.

The council claimed it had no choice but to reduce their numbers to prevent serious injury or possibly a death to local residents who had documented and photographed their assaults.

A ‘license to harm’ had been granted for the area’s most aggressive birds.

To back up the decision for a cull, the council released eight examples of attacks, including one person who wrote, “kept running but it swooped at me three times. Made contact all three times and drew blood on two of them”.

Since 2020, the council said it had done everything in its power the to reduce attacks, from warning residents of swooping birds to suggesting ways of avoiding attacks.

But all efforts to reduce the attacks and injuries have failed, making a cull the only option left, the council said.

Animal Justice Party politician Emma Hurst earlier said she would raise the cull in state parliament and seek “the House” to condemn the cull.

She said it was a “brutal knee-jerk reaction” and there appeared to be little regard for any chicks that would left unattended in nests to become easy prey for other animals.

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