A cyclist along Northbourne Ave today takes the scaring of magpies away to the extreme.

A cyclist along Northbourne Ave today takes the scaring of magpies away to the extreme. Photo: Colleen Petch

No extravagant hat worn by a damsel to this spring's Melbourne Cup will be quite so spectacular as the magpie-repelling helmet seen on a Canberra cyclist yesterday morning.

Canberra Times photographer Colleen Petch captured the wearer shimmering along Northbourne Avenue.

He wouldn't stop so there was no way of asking him how well the bristling headgear works.

This is a trying season for human-magpie relations and so a good time to read Judith Wright's sweet poem Magpies to remind us how lovable the species is for most of the year.

It opens:

Along the road the magpies walk

with hands in pockets, left and right.

They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk.

In their well-fitted black and white.

Gang-gang is a column by Canberra Times journalist Ian Warden