Residents in Pratt St in Casino were desperate about a rogue magpie swooping them.
This is the time of year magpies are protecting their nests and are likely to swoop.
How bad could it be?
I parked next to Colley Park and waved to the waiting residents. I took barely two steps from my car and a magpie slammed into the side of my face. I clutched my camera as I ran across the road.
“I didn’t expect that,” I said breathless to the waiting residents.
Happens all the time, they said.
The group of six stood with umbrellas opened above their heads. It was a bright sunny day. The umbrellas were essential to deter the magpie if any of them stepped out of their units.
The culprit is a bolshie looking magpie strutting on the grass nearby, eyeing up the next swoop.
Marlene lives in one of the units and said the swooping had been going on for eight weeks. She had rung the council ranger, Parks and Wildlife and the police.
No one would do anything, she said.
She has lived on Pratt St for 11 years and the past five had been dominated by the magpie.
“It’s the only one that is vicious,” Marlene said. “The babies are friendly.”
"We’ve all been hurt. We feel imprisoned.”
The postie riding a motorbike pulled up at the letterboxes. Strangely, the magpie wasn’t interested.
“It doesn’t go for the postie,” the residents said.
But it did go for Kevin who was working on a building across the road at Colley Park.
The magpie swooped. Kevin ducked. The magpie swooped again.
When Kevin stood up there were two cuts to his face. He was bleeding.
The magpie warbled in the tree.
I rushed to my car and made a quick getaway.
Richmond Valley Council has an aggressive bird reporting form which is the National Parks requirement for aggressive bird species.
“Once a bird is deemed dangerous as per the report form we contact police who make the ultimate decision as to what will happen,” a council spokesperson said.
“We are aware of reports of the Pratt St magpie swooping and have put in signage to alert pedestrians and cyclists. We have no reports of attacks. Our rangers have spoken with Pratt St residents who say this has been going on every mating season for the past 20 years.”
The council said all instances of bird aggression must first be reported to council’s rangers, who will monitor the bird and if it is deemed a hazard will report it to local police.
The magpie was killed by authorities on Sunday.
Surnames withheld on request
KILL OR RELOCATE?
THIS month Hills Shire Council in Sydney had 40 complaints about an aggressive
magpie. National Parks and Wildlife Service was contacted and a pest controller killed the bird.
There are claims magpies can be relocated by taking them at least 50–75km
from their territory to stop them returning. We are awaiting comments from National Parks and Wildlife on magpie relocation.