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Watch out - magpies swooping!

Monday, September 9, 2019

It's not only in the AFL that the magpies are up and about. It's swooping season for magpies and other birds that are often protecting their nests. Swooping occurs from late August to late October according the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP).

Ways to avoid swooping that may work
• Avoid the swoop area – try walking or riding in a different direction.
• Cyclists should always wear a helmet. It is better to dismount and walk your bike past a swoop area.
• Put up warning signs for others who may not be aware that there are swooping birds in the area.
• Travel in a group. Most birds only swoop individuals.
• Be confident and face a swooping bird; usually they only attack people facing away from them.
• Do not panic and run. It will only encourage a swooping bird to continue its attack.
• Wear a hat in an area where there are swooping birds.
• Magpies appear to be dissuaded from swooping when they are being watched, so try wearing a hat with 'eyes' painted on the back of it. Sunglasses worn backwards have a similar effect.
• Holding a stick or umbrella over your head will often cause the bird to keep its distance.

Ways that do not tend to work
• Do not harass, interfere or throw stones at birds as this only makes them more aggressive and defensive.

All native birds are protected in Victoria. Please do not harass the birds or their nests. Serious penalties apply.

For more information
Contact the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

You can warn others of a bird swooping area by adding a swoop site to Victoria's Swooping Bird Map at wildlife.vic.gov.au