Monday, March 19, 2018

Keep an eye on the sky

David Lee September 27, 2017
SWOOPING SEASON BEGINS… Swooping season has begun as magpies protect their nesting territory. Photo: Supplied.

SWOOPING SEASON BEGINS… Swooping season has begun as magpies protect their nesting territory. Photo: Supplied.

WITH the arrival of spring comes a terrifying experience for some, as magpies take to the skies to protect their territory, meaning swooping season has begun.

Over the next couple of months, residents are being urged to keep an eye on the sky, as magpies begin their breeding time and swoop when they feel threatened.

Greater Shepparton City Council Director Sustainable Development, Johann Rajaratnam said, “As magpies are native birds, council cannot stop them swooping or remove them from certain areas.

“Swooping can occur any time of the year, however it is increased in spring when the birds are protecting their nests. We encourage people to be on alert and aware of the areas that magpies reside in, where swooping may occur,” Mr Rajaratnam said.


Tips to avoid being swooped

1. Know your local swooping hotspots: Keep informed about parks, schoolyards and bike trails in your local area by reading your local newspapers, viewing Victoria’s ‘Magpie Map’ on or contacting your local council.

2. Avoid the area: The best way to protect yourself from a swooping bird, is to avoid venturing into their territory.

3. Move quickly: If you must pass through the area – move quickly – do not run.

4. Cover your head: Wear a hat or carry a stick or umbrella above your head. Cyclists should wear a helmet, dismount and walk through the area.

5. Eyes at the back of your head: Birds may be less likely to swoop if they think you are watching them. Draw a pair of ‘eyes’ and attach to the back of hats and helmets.

6. Do not harass wildlife: Don’t interfere with or throw stones at birds. This gives them added reason to see humans as a threat and may increase swooping behaviour.

7. Do not destroy nests: This may prompt birds to rebuild their nests, prolonging the swooping behaviour.

8. Don’t feed swooping birds.

9. Travel in a group: If possible, try to travel in a group in areas where there are swooping birds.

10. Notify others: Put up warning signs for others who may not be aware that there are swooping birds in the area.