PICTURED: Cyclist killed while trying to avoid ‘aggressive’ magpie

PICTURED: Cyclist killed while trying to avoid a well-known and ‘very aggressive’ magpie – but locals don’t want the bird put down despite it attacking MORE bike riders today

  • Alan Seaman died after riding off from a bike track to avoid a swooping magpie
  • The 76-year-old man veered from an off-road track and hit a fence in Woonona
  • He suffered serious head injuries and died in St George Hospital on Sunday night
  • Daily Mail Australia understands the man may have had a heart attack 
  • Do you know more? Contact [email protected] 

A man who died while trying to avoid an aggressive magpie has been identified as 76-year-old grandfather, Alan Seaman.

Mr Seaman was riding in Nicholson Park at Woonona, in Woolongong’s north, at about 8.15am on Sunday when the bird attacked.

Witnesses saw the man – who was cycling with two friends – ride off the path in a bid to avoid the magpie, before hitting a fence and being thrown from his bike. 

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A man who died while trying to avoid an aggressive magpie has been identified as 76-year-old grandfather, Alan Seaman

Witness Nathan Foster said he called Triple-0 while his wife, who was being swooped by the magpie, when Mr Seaman died, performed first aid. 

Mr Seaman was airlifted to St George Hospital in a critical condition and later died in hospital.

Daily Mail Australia understands Mr Seaman may have had a heart attack after coming under attack from the bird.

Despite the magpie being seen attacking more cyclists on Monday, a local told The Illawarra Star the bird has been a fixture of the area for a few years and he doesn’t want to see it moved.

A regular cyclist in the area, Peter Thompson, said he has been attacked by the bird several times.

‘Magpies have every right to be here and I don’t want to see it moved or killed,’ he said.

‘But I think something would be helpful, especially after yesterday.’

A local told The Illawarra Star the bird has been a fixture of the area for a few years and he doesn’t want to see it moved 

Not everyone agrees with Mr Thompson – with some locals demanding change from the council. 

Mr Foster said he and his wife were being swooped by the well-known magpie when they saw a group of oncoming cyclists. 

‘It was actually swooping my wife behind me at the time but I can only assume [Mr Seaman] was distracted by that magpie. It is known to swoop in that area,’ he told Seven News.

‘He might have taken his eyes off the footpath and failed to take the slight bend.’

Mr Foster said bystanders comforted the men’s shaken companions as it was ‘pretty distressing to witness’. 

The Magpie Alert detection website has six registered attacks on cyclists from Nicholson Park this year, with one attack as recent as Friday last week.

Witness Nathan Foster (pictured) said he called Triple-0 while his wife, who was being swooped by the magpie, when Mr Seaman died, performed first aid

Witnesses saw the man – who was cycling with two friends – ride off the path in a bid to avoid the magpie, before hitting a fence and being thrown from his bike

‘I cycled on the road to try and avoid it on my way back but the magpie chased me,’ one report reads.

‘A very determined bird.’

‘It is amazing how far it will roam from the nest to chase a chosen victim,’ another comment says.

Magpie swooping season starts in September, when birds lay their eggs, and runs for about five weeks. 

The Magpie Alert detection website has six registered attacks on cyclists from Nicholson Park this year, with one attack as recent as Friday last week (stock)

University of New England emeritus Professor Gisela Kaplan told the Daily Telegraph the male magpie’s swooping tactic is a response to defend their eggs. 

‘Birds only swoop when they’re protective, when they have established a risk,’ Professor Kaplan said, adding that making eye contact with magpies can allow them to ‘learn’ you face. 

‘If you look at the bird and show you are not a threat it will remember your face and not attack you.’ 

Experts recommend holding large items over your head and keeping your distance to avoid a magpie attack.

A report will be prepared for the coroner. 

 

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