Spotify creates playlist as weapon against swooping magpies

A playlist featuring high-pitched frequencies and loud, abrasive sounds just might do the trick to deter swooping magpies.

A playlist featuring high-pitched frequencies and loud, abrasive sounds just might do the trick to deter swooping magpies.

The swooping season has descended upon us, with magpies once more darkening Australian skies.

But fear not, Spotify has announced the launch of Magpie Music – an experimental playlist of tracks designed to deter the swooping birds.

Created in partnership with self-proclaimed TikTok “magpie expert”, The Magpie Man, the tongue-in-cheek playlist features local and international greats including Tame Impala, Linkin Park and Tina Turner.

“At Spotify we’re all about tapping into local culture through audio. And what is more Australian than the fear of swooping magpies?” Spotify AUNZ head of music Alicia Sbrugnera said.

“We knew the Magpie Man for his ability to connect with the birds, and with swooping season now under way, we sought his advice to curate a functional and quirky playlist curated with sounds that he knows magpies dislike.

“In collaboration with an expert sound engineer, who knew all the right tunes that hit the high-pitched frequencies and incorporated loud, abrasive sounds, the Magpie Music experiment was born.”

The Magpie Music playlist comprises 15 curated tracks, including:

Big Enough by Kirin J Callinan, featuring Barnsey

Barnesy screaming at the top of his lungs for the epic chorus in Kirin J Callinan’s spoof track Big Enough is sure to deter any passing bird, mammal or insect.

The Best by Tina Turner

The staff at Staverton Airport in the UK tried numerous things to get birds off the tarmac for planes to take off.

Their most effective remedy was to blast The Best down the runway, and birds couldn’t get away quick enough.

Whether this works in this hemisphere and repels aggressive magpies … only time will tell.

Alter Ego by Tame Impala

Kevin Parker’s long, drawn-out vocal notes and backing harmonies in Alter Ego act as a repellant and warning sound to all flying weasels.

The high vocals and distorted guitar solo have all the right ingredients to keep magpies away.

The ‘Magpie Man’, whose real name is Mark Muscat, has amassed 222.5K TikTok followers and 12.1K followers on Instagram.

Muscat became an online sensation during COVID with his incredible ability to warble like a magpie.

One of his videos has had more than one million views.

“The social media attention came out of the blue, but who else do you know that can communicate with the magpies like I can?” Muscat said.

“It’s no secret I’ve always been fascinated by our magpie friends, especially because of my ability to communicate with them.

“With September considered peak swooping season, Spotify and I were keen to create an experimental playlist to see what music wards the magpies away.

“Aussies will have to give the playlist a try themselves to see what tracks will be most successful at deterring the magpies.”

Magpie swooping season usually runs from September to November.

At least 1784 magpie attacks have been reported this year, according to the Magpie Alert website.

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