Jane O'Neill was swooped by a magpie neat the intersection of Bayswater Road and Dalrymple Road and had her hearing aid stolen. Picture: Evan Morgan
Jane O'Neill was swooped by a magpie neat the intersection of Bayswater Road and Dalrymple Road and had her hearing aid stolen. Picture: Evan Morgan

Magpie robs woman's $6000 hearing aid

A MAGPIE has attacked a woman and left her hard of hearing after flying away with a $6000 hearing aid.

Black River resident Jane O'Neil said she had come to Townsville on Monday morning to get her car serviced and was walking to the shops when the pesky bird swooped in.

"I was walking to Warrina shops (in Garbutt) in my own world, not realising it was magpie season," Ms O'Neil said.

"Next thing I know a magpie started swooping me."

She said the lone black and white bird targeted her ears.

Ms O'Neil tried her best to cover her ears to stop the bird from causing any injury.

Despite her efforts, she said the magpie was able to make a well-aimed swoop and fly away with her hearing aid.

"It came from behind, took it and flew into a tree," she said.

"I went back to try and find it but then it kept swooping me.

"I kind of rely on (the hearing aid) to hear properly."

Ms O'Neil said she wore a hearing aid as she could only hear through her right ear.

She said she had arranged to get a replacement this week but expected it to come at a cost.

Ms O'Neil said the hearing aid had cost her $6000 when she first bought it a few years ago.

Five magpie swooping attacks in Townsville have been reported on the Magpie Alert website.

According to the site, all of these attacks happened to cyclists, while Walker St had the most reported attacks with three submitted.

The most serious incident resulted in a Kari Arbouin being injured after a magpie swooped in "low and fast".

She told the Bulletin she was surprised by the attack.

"I was doing my usual cycle along the road and then all of a sudden I thought my glasses had exploded but they just flew off my face," Ms Arbouin said.

"I didn't actually know what had happened and then I saw the magpie come back down."



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