The attacking bird is usually male, either gliding down onto his victim's head from behind, or divebombing the back of the neck.
Apart from protecting the young, this behaviour apparently also impresses female magpies.
Such is the swooping magpie phenomenon, it's become a popular Halloween costume!
|Photo courtesy of Pam Brandy|
|Photo courtesy of Carolyn Brady of Wollongong Botanical Gardens|
|Photo courtesy of Camille Perrat|
|Cover design by JD Smith|
If you would like to read the actual true-life story that inspired The Swooping Magpie, it's all explained on the Triskele Books blog.
|1970s Wollongong Harbour. Photo from the collections of the Wollongong City Libraries and the Illawarra Historical Society|
|Happy Aussie reading, mate!|