Prepare to watch your back in the presence of birds, they might be feistier than expected. A man claims that he’s been attacked every day after work by the same magpie who has singled in on him as its nemesis.
Alejandro Ríos often cycles home from work, which is when the swooping bird makes itself known to the world. The 25-year-old has been the target of the magpie for several days, with the bird swooping down to chase him and peck at his helmet-covered head.
Earlier this year, in March 2023, Ríos moved to Brisbane, Australia. This epic rivalry between the pair started on September 20, 2023, as Ríos was returning from his job as a kitchen hand at a catering company.
Fortunately, because of the helmet Ríos dons while riding his bike, at first he didn’t even realize he had become the target of a divebombing magpie. “I take the same street to get home every day. The first time I felt something knock at my head.
“I was a bit worried. I didn’t know what had happened. I thought a piece of fruit had fallen off a tree or someone had hit me. I had no idea what was happening,” Ríos said.
After a few attacks from the bird, Alejandro has learned to not worry so much. “I was only really worried the first time. By the end, it was funny because I knew it was coming. I still made sure that I could stop it from getting at my eyes,” Ríos said.
Ríos now considers the bird his nemesis because it seems to remember his face. In one instance, the bird allowed other cyclists to pass by with no issue before rushing to Ríos to attack. “I’ve read that magpies recognize faces. I thought it hated me because I was on a bike but then I saw it let other cyclists pass with no issue,” Ríos said.
The solution to the problem? Ríos has beat the bird by putting zip ties on his helmet to protect himself. So far, the coast seems to be clear.