- Research carried out by Griffith University reveals that magpies can use facial recognition to target their victims.
- According to behavioural ecologist Dr Daryl Jones, only 10% of magpies attack people, split evenly between pedestrians and cyclists.
- Although the research confirmed that magpies remember people and tend to attack the same people every day, Dr Jones and his team still don’t know how they decide on their targets.
- For those looking to deter the swooping birds, Dr Jones says you have to look “completely ridiculous” (such as helmets covered in cable ties) or wear ugly rubber masks, such as “witches and goblins”, because they don’t go anywhere near them.
- Magpie attacks are said to last only a few weeks in Spring when there are chicks in the nest.