George Croft stands at the scene where a magpie attacked his daughter.
George Croft stands at the scene where a magpie attacked his daughter. John Gass

Dad's fury over magpie attack

A TWEED Heads father is furious after a magpie attacked his daughter and caused an injury that drew blood on her head.

George Croft said his daughter, Samantha, was walking home from school behind Industry Dr, Tweed Heads South, when she was attacked.

"If this was a dog of any sort the local council would jump in,"; Mr Croft said.

"But because it's a native bird nobody will do anything.

"Parks and wildlife want us to worship the bloody things.";

Mr Croft said it was not enough to simply put up warning signs near trees with nesting magpies.

"You could put up a sign in every street in Tweed Heads,"; he said.

Samantha said the bird caught her by surprise.

"I've been swooped a couple of times, but it never got me,"; she said.

"I didn't know what it was when I was attacked ... I just ran.";

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Karen Dabinett said the magpie breeding season lasted from July-December, with the peak from late August-October.

"During the breeding season, the best approach is to stay well clear of areas where magpies are known to be swooping, particularly the nesting tree,"; she said.

Ms Dabinett said it was important to remember not all magpies swooped, and only did so to drive away potential threats while chicks were in the nest.

"The male magpie is responsible for most swoops and we know that this swooping is almost entirely limited to the magpie 'defence zone' - the area around the nest tree,"; she said.

"The defence zone is usually only about 100 metres in radius.";



  • Advice from Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management:
  • If you must enter the area, move through it quickly, but don't run.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses or carry an umbrella.
  • Cyclists should dismount and walk through the territory.
  • Cyclists should attach cable ties to their helmets.