Springtime and swooping magpies go hand in hand in many parts of Australia. Cyclists on this stretch of path in Wollongong’s northern suburbs regularly run the gauntlet of a bird they say has been terrorizing them for the past three years.
Scary as these encounters can be, rarely do they result in tragedy. Police say a 76-year-old man was cycling here yesterday morning when he swerved to avoid a magpie attack and crashed into a wooden post. He suffered head injuries and later died in the hospital.
It was quite upsetting because we normally have that around and then we go for a cup of coffee. Yeah, sort of certainly put a damper on that. Witness said.
Just last week, Wollongong Council put up a sign advising cyclists to walk their bikes instead of riding them through the affected areas.
In a statement, Wollongong Council says it’s saddened to hear of the incident and will install further signs warning of the dangerous magpie. But at this stage, it won’t be considering relocating the Bird.
Hill Shire Council in Sydney’s northwest recently decided to shoot dead, a magpie described as uncharacteristically territorial.