Warning issued for swooping birds

iStock image.
iStock image.

A WARNING for aggressive birds swooping during Spring has been issued by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

The Department’s Parks and Wildlife Service has released a warning for swooping birds, especially magpies during the nesting season.

Wildlife Officer Matt Swan said magpies nest between August and December and can become aggressive when trying to protect their eggs and young from perceived threats.

“Typically, it’s the male magpies that swoop,” he said.

“They are territorial birds and their natural instinct is to protect their offspring.”

Picture: Melinda Tough.

Mr Swan recommended people wearing a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses outdoors to protect their face and eyes and avoid swooping hotspots.

“Tall trees provide the perfect environment for nests,” he said.

“To be on the safe side, it’s best to find an alternative route during peak nesting season to avoid being swooped.

“We also ask that people don’t provoke magpies by throwing rocks and sticks at them.”

An interactive map featuring hotspots where magpies are the most dangerous can be found online.

Click here for the full map.

According to the warning, if a magpie poses a serious safety risk to people, a dangerous fauna licence may be issued to destroy it.

Mr Swan said this was a common time for other wildlife to be on the move, including ducks and reptiles.

“We recommend people be aware of their surroundings and take extra care outdoors, particularly near swamps, lakes and bushland,” he said.

“Simple precautions such as wearing long pants and enclosed footwear, and keeping a close eye on pets when out walking will make sure you stay safe.”

If you are concerned about swooping magpies or native wildlife in your area, contact the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.