Magpie attacks 9yo girl in Bargara

A BARGARA father is worried a child could be seriously injured by a magpie that is attacking people at the intersection of two roads in the seaside town.

Glenn Hamilton and his nine-year-old daughter, Paris, were riding their bikes home from athletics on Sunday, when the bird launched its aerial assault on the youngster at the corner of See Street and the Esplanade.

“It swooped past her then turned and came back at her full on,” Mr Hamilton said.

“It was actually going for her eyes and whacked her just above the eye.”

Mr Hamilton said after the attack Paris started screaming and, in her panic, rode out on to the road.

“It's lucky it was quiet and there were no cars around or she would have been skittled,” he said.

“I'm just worried that some kids are going to try to get away from the magpies and get cleaned up by a car.”

Bundaberg Regional Council health and environmental services portfolio spokeswoman Mary Wilkinson said when a complaint was received about magpie attacks, licensed magpie trapper Roy McGrath was employed by the council to do an assessment and possibly remove the bird.

Mr McGrath said magpies that carried out frontal attacks on humans were in the worst category and were considered dangerous to the public.

He said if a bird had to be removed, it was done very carefully.

“It has to be relocated at least 50km away and in a rural area,” he said.

Mr McGrath said he had to be careful to relocate the magpie in an area where there was not already a dominant bird or they would fight.

Attacking magpies were almost always males.

Mr McGrath said separating a breeding couple was not a cruel practice.

“She will hatch the eggs and raise the chicks herself,” he said.

“It doesn't take a hen long to find a new mate.”

Mr McGrath said it was early in the year for magpies to be attacking, but he put that down to the mild winter the region had experienced.

“Everything is flowering already, and spring has come early,” he said.



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