Afraid of being attacked by magpies this spring? Then you need to make yourself look "completely ridiculous", according to behavioural ecologist Daryll Jones from Griffith University.
Dr Jones' team's research showed putting a few cable ties in a bike helmet was not absurd enough to deter the swooping birds.
"There's only two things that work in our experience - one of them is the cable ties but a huge forest of them," Dr Jones said.
"You've got to look completely ridiculous for it to work, it's got to be like an echidna.
"But the other thing that works really well is ugly rubber masks of witches and goblins and all sorts of things you can get from funny shops; they don't go anywhere near them."
To make matters worse, Dr Jones said the unflattering masks had to be worn backwards.
The recommendations came from his research which delved further into previous studies that found some birds used facial recognition to decide who to target when defending their nests.
Dr Jones said his team found magpies "really do know the individual" by remembering not only their features but those who regularly passed through their territory.
He found the birds targeted three categories of people.
"There are magpies who specialise on pedestrians, which is most of them, the postie birds and the cyclist birds," Dr Jones said.
"Of the magpies who attack pedestrians, people walking around, ... of those most of them attack the same people every day."
He said the team had watched "hundreds of people walk past not getting attacked and then the same little old lady or kid or person walking the dog would be attacked and nobody else would even be looked at".
"We interviewed those people and they said 'yes it's like they know who I am', and they really do."
Dr Jones said his team was still baffled as to how the magpies decided on their targets.
"What we don't know is why did they start picking on poor old Mrs Smith walking down the street to get her groceries each morning," he said.
"I'm pretty sure she didn't climb the tree and eat a baby magpie last weekend ... but something happened."
Dr Jones said "Mrs Smith" could have done something as minor as looking in the direction of the nest as magpies appeared to have a low tolerance threshold.
The good news is the attacks only last for a few weeks in spring when there are chicks in the nest.