Parliament Is At The Mercy Of Aggro Magpies & Trying To Figure Out What To Do

Apparently, the magpies who live around Parliament House in Canberra are so aggressive that the Senate estimates meeting today spoke at length about what the hell they’re going to do about them.

Brought up almost jokingly by Labor senator Kimberley Kitching, the conversation in the estimates room quickly swooped to the parliament of magpies (yeah, that’s their collective noun) attacking members of staff, stealing lunches, and generally causing havoc around the government grounds.

The estimates room asked about whether the “fake hawk” was working to deter the birds. Ok, hang on back this up about two seconds – the Australian government, the people we as a nation somewhat entrust to govern us, have FAKE hawks set up around their offices to scare off other birds. This is fantastic news on its own, really.

Kitching told the room about the conspiracy theory that the magpies that live around Parliament House are the “some of the most aggressive in Australia.

The parliament’s building services assistant secretary Fiona Knight confirmed that there’s been a lot of reports of people being attacked by magpies while at the house, and said that the fake hawks have been used in various spots to try and ward the swoopy bois off.

We have been using it, and it’s been used in different locations as one of the methods to try and scare the birds away. There’s a number of different things we’re using – we’ve got an audible bird sounder as well that we’ve been using. It’s not just the magpies; it’s the ducks, it’s the pigeons – they’re a nuisance.

As evidence of these attacks, please enjoy these snaps that parliamentary photographer Alex Ellinghausen took a few years back of a couple of maggies trying to steal a snag out of the hands of fellow photographer, Ray Strange.

Senate president Scott Ryan quips that maybe a cat will help the issue, which I am here for – not so much in the perspective of a cat taking out all the native birds around the area, but more just the idea of a cat in parliament. Hell, make the cat Prime Minister. I’d vote for a moggy PM any day.

You can also hear Senator James Paterson suggest that the Parliamentary Friends of Shooters group could lend a hand to control the birds which was very much a joke and the estimates room laughed, but please let me remind you that shooting native fauna is very much illegal. Don’t do that.

Regardless, I DEMAND to see pictures of these fake hawks. Send them to me. I need to lay my eyes on these incredible mock birbs and how real they look.

And my suggestion for the swoopers? Maybe some cds with fishing line over Parliament will do, like my neighbours used to do over their garden. Or maybe just eat your lunch inside when it’s swooping season. Or maybe they should be getting in a fake eagle from the west coast to shoo away the magpies, we’ve already seen that work once this year.