Birds swoop into spring

During the last seven weeks, the department has received more than 70 calls about magpies displaying aggressive behaviour.

Wildlife officer Teagan Johnston said magpies were most active during the spring months.

‘We expect the number of calls from concerned residents will rise sharply as we approach summer,’ she said.

‘Male magpies are territorial and may swoop at people if they think their nest or offspring are being threatened, but they are only doing what comes naturally when defending their young ones.

‘If magpies pose a serious safety risk to people, a dangerous fauna licence may be issued to remove the offending birds.

‘Tall trees provide the perfect environment for magpie nests and the best way to avoid being swooped is to find an alternative way of passing their breeding sites for the six to eight weeks that magpies usually defend their nest.

‘We also encourage people to protect themselves by wearing a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses to conceal their face and eyes.

‘People should not look towards swooping magpies and they should ensure children do not throw rocks or sticks at the birds.’