It's the season that sends Canberra's cyclists and pedestrians scrambling for cover.
But magpie breeding season doesn't have to mean a parade of echidna-like helmets or googly eyes, according to the latest guidelines released by ACT Parks and Conservation.
Rangers are advising Canberrans to protect themselves with umbrellas, hats, helmets and glasses as magpies begin swooping across the city.
"We don't necessarily recommend any dos or don'ts for your helmet, whether it's the googly-eyes or the cable ties but just for your own safety make sure you wear glasses to protect your eyes and hats, helmets or an umbrella," ACT Parks and Conservation ranger Bethany Dunne said.
The Magpie Alert website has already recorded more than 60 attacks in Canberra this season, with cyclists reporting the most skirmishes with the territorial birds.
Hotspots this year include Bunda Street, William Webb Drive and Well Station Drive.
Pedal Power executive officer John Armstrong said magpies perceived cyclists as a "fast-moving object" that was a predator to their young.
"Nine times out of 10 they don't hit you, nine times out of 10 they aim to scare you. Quite often you get the clacking of the beak right in your ear and the aim is to scare people. It's a very tough one, it's a very tricky one and if you can avoid them, do so," Mr Armstrong said.
Ms Dunne said if you have to cycle in the bird's territory, the best course of action is dismount your bike and walk past quickly.
"If you're on a bike don't ride, that can provoke them, just walk your bike if you're aware of a swooping magpie in an area," she said.
While it may seem the magpies are out for blood earlier than usual this year, Ms Dunne said the birds could swoop anywhere between July and November.
She also pointed out once a pair of birds started swooping, their reign of terror would be shortlived.
"They have eggs and young in their nest anywhere from six to eight weeks so each individual pair of birds swoop for that period but it can be from anywhere from July to November," Ms Dunne said.
You can report areas with swooping magpies to Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
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