A magpie swoops. Picture: Nathan Edwards
A magpie swoops. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Caw blimey! Magpie season has started early

HUNDREDS of Australians have been mauled by vicious magpies and in recent weeks as breeding season kicks off early.

The attacks have left dozens of cyclists licking their wounds while some parents have complained their young children have been targeted.

Daily Telegraph photographer Nathan Edwards tracked down one angry bird in Port Macquarie.

"The bird just came at him," Mr Edwards said.

"If you didn't know it was coming it would scare you and could even knock you off the bike.

"It would draw blood if you were not wearing a helmet."

Jack, 11, ran the gauntlet in Port Macquarie and had a magpie pecking at his helmet.

"It was a lot of fun but a bit scary - I'm glad I had a helmet on," he said.

"It was so fast you couldn't even see it coming.

The country's Magpie tracking website has reported 372 attacks in recent weeks with 59 injuries.

Magpies are traditionally more aggressive during breeding season which runs through September and November but something has triggered the birds early this year.

Randwick Council rangers have been forced to put up warning signs around the Eastern suburbs after a mother pushing her 15-month-old son Marcus was targeted multiple times.

Her attack was one of more than 20 in the Sydney area.

A Randwick Council spokesman said animal control crews had been called in through the State Government to move the birds.

"The birds are protected so we need to go through them when we get complaints," he said.