SYDNEY (GN)  An Australian man has died in a bicycle crash while trying to escape from a swooping magpie.

The 76-year-old cyclist suffered head injuries on Sunday when he veered off a path and crashed into a park fence south of Sydney, police said.

Despite paramedics’ efforts to save him, the man later died in hospital.

Swooping magpies are a common threat in Australia during spring and often cause injuries to cyclists and pedestrians, but fatal incidents are rare. Police said they would prepare a report for a coroner after the attack in Wollongong, New South Wales.

Local media reported that several other magpie attacks had previously taken place in the park.

The Australian magpie is a different species to the European bird with which it shares its name. During mating season, the bird can become aggressive and attack humans crossing its territory.