AS A former postie, I know first hand what it's like to get swooped by magpies; it can get pretty scary.

Gympie postal contractor Stephen 'Step' Richards is swooped all the time and says his customers say it's only him.

"One of my customers says they don't swoop anyone else. Just me," he said.

A particularly bad intersection is a crossroads on Southside, which Mr Richards must navigate every day with the same result.

"As I come up Johns Rd, he swoops me, all the way up to number five (Julienne St). Then another one takes over from there up to number 29," Mr Richards said.

It's all part of the job and Mr Richards is fairly good-natured about it.

"It's been happening for as long as I've been doing this run," he said, which equates to more than a decade.

Mr Richards believes successive generations learn the behaviour from their parents, so the situation persists.

The birds can get quite aggressive and there were marks on the back of his helmet where birds grasp at it with their talons.

In an effort to pacify the winged menace, Mr Richards said he fed one of them.

GUILTY LOOK: The culprit surveys his dominion after successfully seeing off the threat to his family for another day. Only male magpies swoop, as the females are too busy tending to the chicks.
GUILTY LOOK: The culprit surveys his dominion after successfully seeing off the threat to his family for another day. Only male magpies swoop, as the females are too busy tending to the chicks. Greg Miller

"This one here, I feed him some mince yesterday. He loved it. As soon as I moved off, he bombarded me again," he said with a laugh.

As he rides off and the magpie starts to swoop him again, I am again thankful I'm not postie-ing any more, as I am every time it's bucketing down with rain.

Australia Post encourages its posties to report incidences with magpies.

A new website and app called magpiealert.com is available for members of the general community to report incidences and warn other pedestrians and cyclists on which areas to avoid during the nesting season.

Gympie Times


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