There are few sounds more pants-wettingly nightmarish to an Australian in spring than the ungodly whoosh of a pair of incoming wings.
It’s the first day of the blooming season for Australia, and with spring comes angry, angry winged new dads who’ll rather accurately swoop at the most tender part of the back of your head.
Magpies can be a particularly aggressive
demon bird in Australia from late August to late October — a significantly lengthy time to wear a helmet at all times but so be it. While apparently only 10 percent of magpies actually attack during this time, these can be bloody brutal.
Australians are so onto it, there’s an entire website for crowdsourcing magpie alerts.
As always, the main target for Australia’s black and white rage dragons? Cyclists.
Magpie deterring strategies range from tying cable ties or drawing eyes on your helmet, to a good old broad brimmed hat, to wearing Halloween witch masks backwards, or just, you know, making friends with them. But as Griffith University behavioural ecologist Dr. Darryl Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald, no matter how many different hats you try, magpies never forget a face. Yep. Birds with naturally occurring facial recognition technology. You can’t hide.
First magpie attack of the season yesterday morning. Double swoop. Wearing sunnies on the walk to the station today, to protect the eyes.
— Mr. Mouse (@mr_mouse) August 30, 2017
Some choose to skip the whole thing.
While others throw caution to the wind.
Australian breakfast program The Morning Show ran a whole segment dedicated to the season, running footage with, sure, a casual red blood overlay and, why not, The Walking Dead theme.
Helmets on, Australia.