• Man dies in freak magpie accident

    By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    A 76-year-old man riding his bike in an area south of Sydney, Australia, died after he swerved to miss a flying magpie.

    The man, who was not identified, crashed into a fence post and was thrown to the ground, CNN reported.

    Doctors said he had serious head injuries and was eventually flown to a Sydney hospital, where he later died. 

    But experts say that this is the time of year when the birds start swooping to protect their young from what they think are threats and the birds are very territorial, 7 News reported.

    They're so vicious that Australians will walk around with sticks and bike riders add zip ties that stick up on their helmets to prevent the birds from attacking.

    They have very sharp beaks and attack suddenly.

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    A toddler in a carriage was nearly blinded by one of the birds last year.

    So far this year, 239 people have been hurt in more than 1,900 swoopings across the country and the number is expected to increase. Last year there were more than 3,600 attacks, Magpie Alert reported.

    Nothing can really be done to the animals since they're a protected species in Australia, CNN reported.

    It is illegal to kill the birds or take eggs or chicks. If one is proven to be a nuisance, a local council can take action. Instead, anyone outside is told to stay away from where magpies live, according to CNN.

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