Cycling: This ominous bird is scary…


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CyclingThis ominous bird is scary…

He is called the flute cassican and threatens the riders of the World Cycling Championships in Wollongong: he attacks them!

The flute cassican or the Australian magpie is susceptible…

7 of 7/ekster © ThinkStock

This is a story reported by the Belgian site “7 sur 7” following a report on AFP. In Wollongong, where the world road cycling championships take place in Australia, a rather sensitive bird threatens the riders. After the wind, dangerous descents, cramps or cravings, here is the flute cassican, also called the Australian magpie.

“Suddenly a bird of very respectable size approached me and kept following me. It was terrifying.››

Remco Evenepoel, recent winner of the Tour of Spain

“Suddenly a bird of very respectable size approached me and kept following me. It was terrifying”, told Remco Evenepoel, the recent winner of the Tour of Spain, to our Belgian colleagues, after his first training outing in the country of kangaroos, admitting that he had avoided an attack from this strange creature. bird, hoping that “it won’t happen again”.

Remco Evenepoel was very scared…

Remco Evenepoel was very scared…

AFP

“Dive Down Season”

All Australians will tell you: beware of the sky between September and October where it is not uncommon to be attacked by these flute cassicans during the “swooping season”, in other words “the season of dive descents” where these medium-sized passerines with black and white plumage can be very threatening to those who dare approach too close to their nest: especially cyclists, their preferred target, because, unlike pedestrians and joggers, they move faster. The magpies then dive on their victim and aim their powerful beak at the head, face, neck or eyes. A scenario worthy of the film “The Birds” by Alfred Hitchcock.

“Here, it’s really very common. There is a place over there near the beach where I almost died”, confirms to AFP Thomas Walker, an amateur cyclist in his sixties who came to observe Saturday, bike in hand, the training of the runners. engaged in Wollongong. Injuries are frequent and the consequences can even be dramatic. In 2019, a 76-year-old cyclist died in Wollongong after hitting a pole after trying to avoid an attack by this magpie.

‹‹When attacking, birds tend to target fast-moving, lonely people. Unfortunately, I don’t think cyclists will be told to slow down.

Paul Parland, veterinarian at Illawarra Animal Hospital

At the World Championships, which open this Sunday for a week on the southeast coast of Australia, we take the subject seriously. A racing incident is not impossible. Stefan Kung reported that one of his teammates was attacked by a magpie during training. “When attacking, birds tend to target single, fast-moving people. Unfortunately, I don’t think cyclists will be told to slow down,” said Paul Parland, a veterinarian at Illawarra Animal Hospital, calling for caution on local Wave FM radio for riders. spectators, invited to walk slowly.

“At one point of the race route, there are regular incidents. It can really surprise when you’re not used to it. I imagine that the organization is aware. But we can’t do much anyway, ”said Thomas Walker.

‹‹Some advise us to stick some kind of antennae on our helmet to scare away the birds. But it’s not very aerodynamic so we’re not going to do it.”

Stefan Küng, Swiss runner

Over the years, local cyclists have more or less successfully devised strategies to guard against these attacks, such as wearing a helmet with spikes or reflective mirrors. “Some people advise us to stick antennae on our helmets to scare away the birds. But it’s not very aerodynamic so we’re not going to do it,” commented Stefan Küng in an interview on the UCI website.

Stefan Küng (right) is not going to stick antennas on his helmet, it's not very aerodynamic!

Stefan Küng (right) is not going to stick antennas on his helmet, it’s not very aerodynamic!

AFP



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