Magpie attacks cyclist
Magpie attacks cyclist

Swooping magpie lands triathlete in hospital

A NOTORIOUS magpie nicknamed "Clive" only stopped swooping an aspiring triathlete when she fell off her bike and broke multiple bones.

Michelle Anderson has been left scarred by her run-in with the aggressive magpie, which caused her to crash while cycling along Denham Street in August.

Unknown to Ms Anderson, Denham Street, is Clive's domain.

"I hadn't been cycling too long. I was riding on Denham Street into Sturt Street," she said.

"(The magpie) just kept coming at me and coming at me."

In a bid to defend herself from the bird, Ms Anderson tried to fend it off with one of her hands when she crashed.

The bust-up left her with multiple injuries.

"Someone ended up stopping for me, I was covered in blood," she said.

"I had to get stitches in my head, I broke my pubic bone and I broke my collarbone."

Michelle Andersen crashed her bike and broke bones after being attacked by a magpie in the CBD. Picture: Evan Morgan
Michelle Andersen crashed her bike and broke bones after being attacked by a magpie in the CBD. Picture: Evan Morgan

Ms Anderson said the magpie struck her on the helmet but stopped its swoops once she fell.

She said the magpie was infamous among the city's cycling community.

"He's even got a nickname, Clive," she said.

Her injuries have prevented her from getting back to her usual exercise routine, but she is determined to get back in the saddle soon.

A Townsville City Council spokesman said the swooping of magpies and plovers was normal behaviour of such birds at this time of year.

"Council erects warning signs on council land in known swooping hot spots across the city," he said.

"Residents are urged to take precautions to protect themselves from aggressive magpies and plovers.

"Precautions include walking quickly through known hot spots, not running; wearing a hat or carrying an umbrella; never deliberately provoking or harassing a magpie or plover; and, for bike riders, dismounting and walking through hotspots."

There have been a number of swoop attacks on cyclists in the city this year according to website magpiealert.com.

Originally published as Swooping magpie lands triathlete in hospital


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