Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The flags

I was out on the deck this afternoon to see if the magpie repelling flags worked. 

I saw the magpie have a little warm up flight as the school bus approached.  

The girls had left the flags I made for them laying in the grass beside where they get off the bus.  They jumped off the bus and each grabbed a flag, then stood their waving them to see what was going to happen next….nothing.  So far so good!

Krystal went up the drive towards home waving her flag.  Shayde and Georgia dawdled along the roadside towards my place, waving their flags above their heads.

The magpie, which usually doesn’t bother Krystal, took one swoop towards her then backed off and returned to its nest.   And it didn’t return to have a go at Shayde and Georgia.   Most unusual.  Victory!
Or so I thought. 

We had looked up ‘magpie attacks’ on the net and discovered their territory is about 50 metres for people on foot.   So that would put my house around the outside limit.   We watched a video of various ways to deter magpie attacks.  Bike helmets, fake eyes glued on to the back of helmets,  cable ties sticking out of helmets, coloured cable ties, even a pair of binoculars attached to a helmet.  None of them worked. 

A couple of hours later the girls stepped outside to put their shoes on and head home.  And what was sitting on a fence post right opposite the house?   (Photo opportunity missed but I had other things on my mind.) Yep, that darn magpie.  Looking the other way as if to say I’m not watching you.  Huh!  Think I came down in the last shower?   

It must have seen the girls step outside.  It’s right what they say about them having good memories for faces, and very sharp eyesight.  It never bothers me but really has it in for the girls.  Must have a bit of a thing about noise (they are rarely silent…the girls, that is).

I had a few stern words with the bird, grabbed a jacket to wave around if need be and walked with the girls to the farm track and told them to go up the track, then through the paddock to their home.  Shayde, by this time, was cross with me and didn’t want anything to do with my poxy old flag.  They are, after all, just scraps of material stapled to sticks.  But Georgia took them both and waved them happily above her head.

And that over protective bird…what did it do?  It rose into the air, did a semi circle as if to come at them from behind (they always strike from behind). I thought, “Here we go, Super Granny to the rescue.  You think you are protective but I will show you what protective is!”

Then flew off back to it’s nest.

Maybe these flags really will work!


  1. The bird obviously has his head screwed on right if he's not attacking you: never attack an ally.

    But then he attacks defenceless children. I'm not sure that I like him at all.

  2. Hello Pauline,

    I got swooped on about two years ago,from behind,they come so damn close to you. They are a precision flying machine. When the nesting season is over the flags can be used for flag races.
    Happy days.

  3. Pauline I am glad it has worked but for some reason I still thinks it's funny. Lets have some photos of flag waving children.

  4. Oh my! I see these big birds down in the valley and think how beautiful they are, but I had no idea they were attack birds.
    The flags should help but until they stop nesting and leave, the problem will probably persist.
    When I was a kid we had Blue Jays that would attack our cat.... but the cat probably deserved it.


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