Cyclist dies after being attacked by swooping magpie in Australia

Magpies are known to attack cyclists in Australia during their mating season (File picture: Getty)

A cyclist has died in Australia after being attacked by a magpie.

The 76-year-old man swerved his bicycle to avoid the swooping bird and crashed into a fence post.

The magpie attacked the cyclist on Sunday morning in Woonona, 35 miles south of Sydney.

The man suffered serious head injuries and was taken to hospital where he later died.

Earlier this month, rangers from a council in Sydney shot dead a “monster” magpie that had been attacking residents for a number of years.

The “particularly aggressive” bird had attacked several people in the Hills Shire area of the city, causing some to seek hospital treatment.

In another incident this month, a magpie was captured on camera attacking a koala in Adelaide.

Magpie attacks on cyclists in Australia are often reported during spring (File picture: Getty)

Officers from Wollongong Police District are investigating the cyclist’s death and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The cyclist veered off a path in his efforts to flee from the magpie.

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In Australia, swooping magpies are a common problem during spring, and cyclists and pedestrians have been injured in the past.

During its mating season, the Australian magpie may be aggressive and defend its territory from humans.

Magpies are a protected native species in Australia (Picture: Getty)

The bird begin breeding in August and will swoop to protect their young from what they see as threats.

Magpies are a protected native species in Australia but councils can act if one of the birds is reported to be overly aggressive against people.