It’s that time of year again when you dust off your bike helmet covered in cable ties — male magpies are beginning to protect their young which may result in swooping in and around their nests.
While September is the height of swooping season, Council’s Ranger Services want to alert the community (especially newcomers) to be aware, get prepared and safely manage swooping season.
‘Magpies don’t nest in the same place every year, so there’s a chance a new swooping zone (approximately 100 m radius from the nest) could be close to your home, or where you walk and ride your bike,’ General Manager Communities, John McDougall says.
‘If you realise you’re in a magpie swooping zone, focus on getting out of the way quickly and inform council,’ he adds, ‘If you’re on a bike, dismount and walk out of the zone. If you’re walking, stay calm, cover your face and promptly walk away.
‘Don’t stand your ground, wave your hands or objects at the magpies, as this can cause greater distress to the birds and escalate their protective behaviour.’
Magpie swooping season generally ends in December, when Magpies return to their peaceful and clever nature, contributing to valuable insect control.
Inform the council by calling our customer service team at 1300 242 686 and we’ll aim to place signage around the swooping zone.
The national magpie alert map is another great tool to share knowledge within the community around magpie swooping zones.
For more information and tips on staying safe from swooping magpies, visit the Department of Environment and Sciences website.