You are hereForums / General Discussion / NoBMoB Chat / The Butcher of Babbage is back

The Butcher of Babbage is back

BIGnige's picture

By BIGnige - Posted on 11 August 2016

A bit early but had a fly-by from our favourite bird today.
It was a bit half-hearted on his behalf and I saw the shadow coming so was waving my arms about like a freak.
Just a heads up peeps.

hawkeye's picture

The nearest Babbage Rd I know of is at Roseville. Or is this the Butcher of Gibbes St at Manly Vale near the public school?

The one at Roseville was persistent but harmless, and used to get me on the climb up after that nasty wall coming out of the bridge underpass.

The one at Gibbes St on the other hand ... he drew blood. Sad So nasty that a council officer intimated they were thinking about doing something about him, when for some reason the attacks ceased. Maybe someone beat them to it. Puzzled

Black Flash's picture

Suddenly he was up to a victim count of about 200, then it suddenly stopped... Wonder if he still has his Twitter feed. (Yes for real)?

BIGnige's picture

The one on the Roseville climb out.
Shits me up every morning. Talk about heart attack.

hawkeye's picture

Haha, I do miss the commute out to Sydney Olympic Park via Roseville Bridge. It was great for fitness Smiling

The bogans on Warringah Road and back of Ryde not so much.

Ray R's picture

I had the Butcher Bird on Babbage trained last year not to attack me. I gave it a small piece of ham some mornings.

BIGnige's picture

Say what on earth did you do that. I have spare ham!

Lach's picture

... would look less undignified than all those zip ties bristling skywards??? But would it stop a magpie.....

Ray R's picture

I held a small piece of ham in my fingers above shoulder height, then when past the tree on the left, then placed the ham on the kerb. The Butcher would swoop into the tree, then wait until I had ridden off to get the ham. Only took a few days and it wouldn't swoop me - but sat in the tree waiting.

webby's picture

road tax

BIGnige's picture

Genius..I'm totally trying that..just need to figure out which tree it is.
Maybe if we all do it he'll be too fat to bother by then end of spring

Ray R's picture

I'd have the ham in my hand as I crossed over Ormonde Rd - which is the road with the bridge over the western approach to Roseville Bridge. The tree in question was on the left about 15m past the intersection. I'd put the ham on the gutter about 10m past the tree. The Butcher Bird comes from the large trees on the right about 50m further up.

BIGnige's picture

Ok tomorrow I'm totally trying that..let you know how I go

BIGnige's picture

OK day one...stopped by tree...left peace offering of ham on kerb, old lady walking past looked at me like I was an idiot.
Birds didn't swoop.
Might have been a fluke will try again tomorrow.
Think old lady ate ham.

BIGnige's picture

Decided to mix it up a bit today and went with a slice of roast pork which was loitering in the fridge. It had got that rainbow sheen on it which I always think means it's gone off. Anyway good enough for a bird...they eat worms for god's sake.
So cycled past the tree and a bit further than yesterday.
Saw them sitting up there being all beaky and superior...little feathery gits.
Unwrapped the meat and put it on the curb expecting to be twatted upside the head any second.
Rode off....nothing.
This may actually be working.
Saw old lady again....she had a slice of bread in her hand...coincidence? I think not.

Ray R's picture

making the birds too fat to fly !! But the real test will be in a few days when you don't leave a peace offering. Will they still like you? Or give you a polite reminder to bring a double portion the following day.

all74's picture

This thread is more compelling than watching Stranger Things!

BIGnige's picture

Day Three in the Big Brother House....

So today was a bit weird. Rode up to where I've been leaving the treats and didn't see the birds anywhere. What I did see was another old lady..a different one..standing by the parked cars on the opposite side of the road. Maybe Old Lady#1 has been telling her friends there's free food on offer. Let's face it Super funds are not what they were and every little helps, as Tescos are so fond of telling us.
Anyway fumbled with unwrapping the last of the rainbow-pork and put it on the curb...old pork was gone.
Rode off and almost immediately got a half-hearted swooping from both birds. It was more of a fly-by really and they didn't get much closer than say three feet.I could see their shadows on the road in front. I'm taking it as either a "Thank You" or a "Can We Go Back to Ham Please" message. Perhaps Old Lady#2 had made a dash for the meat and they turned their attentions on her and peeled off...I hope so..thieving old biddy.
Tomorrow I'm going to try leaving it further up the road and see what happens...that's if the road isn't blocked by hordes of old people shuffling about on zimmer frames like a Walking Dead spin-off.

Pete B's picture

Sounds like it's time to create a hotlap including a peace offering stop

BIGnige's picture

Ok so I've been a bit rubbish at keeping the world up-to-date with how this has experiment has been going. I also see it's come up again.
So let's pick up where we left off....

Friday...rode up to the normal spot. Wasn't confronted by hordes of Walking Dead....relief, although I did have a Katana strapped to my back just in case some serious head lopping was called for.
Birds fly into tree above me. I stare at them for a bit....they stare back at me for the same bit.
I leave tasty morsel on kerb and wobble off.
Bald man with dog stares at me....I stare back at him. I think of entering Olympic Stare-Off event in four years.

Monday: Late for work and forget to pack sacrifice for my feathery mates. Ride up the hill as fast as my lactic acid will allow. Lungs bleeding as I get to the turn-off by the bowling club.

Could this actually be working or are my Zeus-like thighs more than a match for the terminal velocity of a Butcher? I like to think they are.



By now I'm wondering if bald man's dog got them on Friday.



So....either they have become too fat to bother, they see me as a friend, or the fact that I have stopped so often in the swooping zone has taught them that swooping me doesn't make me leave any quicker. Dunno....all I know is I no longer fear that bit of road.

Hurrah for science!

PS. Anyone else here still getting swooped on this bit of road?

hawkeye's picture

I'd be leaving a gift at random times - wouldn't want them to figure out they have to swoop you to start getting fed again, would we? Smiling

simoen's picture

I rode past this morning around 7.30 with a sacrificial bike rider up front about 200m who got swooped. When I got up there NO SWOOP. He might of been swooped out for the morning....

BIGnige's picture

I reckon there's some truth in that. Often I've ridden up as a pair and there's be no swoopage...wonder if they get confused by too many targets

ae93gti's picture

Not the best quality but you get the idea. There is a 720p version and if you pause it at the right time you can make him/her out.

ae93gti's picture

Wasn't swooped last week at all

hawkeye's picture

In the paper this week, a 7yo girl in Brisbane lost the sight in one eye thanks to one of these damn birds pecking it on a fly-past from behind. Apparently it attacked from behind, but in a feat of aerial gymnastics pivoted and hit its mark mid-pass. Witnessed by her horrified mum.

I find this a bit shocking as I'd thought my eyes were relatively safe unless the bird was approaching from in front.

Not sure why the authorities are so fossilised against acting to remove birds that are known to draw blood.

Wear your glasses, guys.

Slowpup's picture

Are you auditioning for a spot writing for 10,9,7 news?

Edited without the hyperbole.

A girl in Brisbane lost the sight in one eye from a bird swoop this week.

Apparently it attacked from behind, which surprises me.

Wear your glasses, people.

A bit close to home for me, this story.


hawkeye's picture

Sticking out tongue

Point taken. And sorry to hear there's been an incident affecting someone close to you.

It just gets up my nose a bit that people in government throw their hands in the air saying nothing can be done because the birds are protected. I like very much that they are protected, but there should be a mechanism to be able to deal with problem individual animals that pose a threat to humans, like we do for other species, eg unsafe dogs. Apparently the legal framework doesn't exist, which I find a rather strange inversion of values.

And I guess I'm a bit shocked by the fact the damage was done by a bird flying in from behind. I've lost count of the number of times I've been smacked by a maggie, it has never been something that I worried about until now. Reading the story was kind of an "Oh s**t!" moment.

Lach's picture

... although, the maggie at Mt Annan used to do frontal attacks. Scariest bird I've seen. I think it may have been removed. There were rangers observing it last spring when I was being attacked and it didn't seem to be there after that....

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Best Mountain Bike