Fitness —it's safer on the inside
The Secret Life of Magpies
Magpies are protective of their young. Can’t blame them for that. The magpies’ 6–8 week nesting period falls some time between July and November.
If you’ve never experienced the Hitchcock levels of terror that come with a magpie fly-by, you’re probably in the silent minority.
The danger for those who walk, run or ride the gauntlet through magpie territory, however, may not be as grave as anticipated.
A recent Queensland study reveals that most magpies are not aggressive toward humans. All the physical attacks are perpetrated by a trifling 9% of the breed.
It’s the male magpie who defends his hen’s eggs and their chicks in the nest. His ‘defence zone’ is generally an area within 110m for pedestrians, and 150m for cyclists.
What You Can Do When Magpies Swoop
If you know where the trouble-spots are, don’t go there, or find another way to get where you’re going.
You can try wearing or carrying something to deter a magpie. A stick or an umbrella might be enough to convince a bird that you know what you’re doing and that you’re not afraid to use it.
Wearing a helmet, or at least a hat, offers a degree of protection (it will probably do little to diminish the terror though). A few inventive souls add spiky looking twigs, even cable-ties, to their hat or helmet, assuming no self-respecting magpie will risk the odds of impaling or entangling itself.
Others have painted eyes on the back of their headwear, following the logic that magpies prefer attacking from behind.
The most successful approach by far, involves offering food snacks (e.g. cat food). This works best when the route is not too busy, so the magpie can link you personally to the treats.
You can seek to have the magpie removed. Some councils have removal programs for instances where aggression becomes a serious risk to human safety.
Another option is to pay a local pest control business to relocate the magpie. You’ll find an experienced bird handler in the Pest & Termite Control category on LocalSearch.
Fitness Protection Program
When you’re goal is simply fitness, the ultimate solution is to avoid swooping magpies altogether and go about your fitness routine in the safety of a respected gym.
Gyms have been around for more than 3000 years, since the days of ancient Persia. This was even before they adopted the Greek name ‘gymnasium’. The meaning of the word ‘gymnasium’ is interesting, if not uncomfortably weird.
The modern gym is a fantasyland of fitness functionality, including gym equipment designed purely to isolate specific muscle groups.
A piece of technology known as the ‘leg press’ will have your quadriceps feeling the burn. But do the work and afterwards, your confidence in the event of a magpie skirmish will definitely improve.
For more powerful flailing of the arms, biceps love curls. Rather than a curling wand, these curls are achieved with the aid of dumbbells or barbells.
That big exercise ball? Looks comfortable in a roundabout way but when it comes to ab-crunching, you soon realise it was designed for anything but relaxation. It will, however, be a defining moment for your six-pack.
Where You Can Get Fit Safely in Townsville
Currently offering excellence in gym standards in Townsville:
Twenty years in the making, Muscle & Fitness Gym knows what it takes to get your body ready for prime time. This is a professional business that even has a crèche for minding the kids while you work out.
- Kids créche
- Personal training
- Resistance machines
There’s a Muscle & Fitness Gym at Kirwan, Hyde Park and Garbutt.
What makes Body Torque Health & Fitness outstanding is the sheer amount of options available.
- Boot camps
- Fitness classes, all levels
- Women’s self defence
No matter how busy you are, you’ll find an arrangement available at Body Torque that will allow you to fine tune your fitness — from boot camps to boxing, circuit classes to group exercise sessions. In addition, there are self-defence classes for women.