News

Be wary of Magpies

by
October 13, 2017

Magpies, plovers and other native birds swoop people at the beginning of Spring to protect their young in the nest.

Tatura resident Neville Crow is warning people to watch out for magpies after he was attacked by a dive-bombing magpie while riding his bike the other day.

‘‘I was riding my bike on Dhurringile Rd near the Generations Church when a magpie swooped me five times,’’ Mr Crow said.

Another hotspot for a magpie activity in Tatura, according to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, is on Casey St near Francis St.

Greater Shepparton City Council has released a similar message to residents to be on alert for swooping magpies when out and about during the next couple of months.

‘‘Magpies breed between August and October and can swoop if they feel threatened,’’ 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.’’

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 www.delwp.vic.gov.au/environment-and-wildlife/wildlife/swooping-birds?remap=delwp.vic.gov.au/swoop 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.

■Do you know any hot spots for magpie activity let us know via declan.martin@sheppnews.

com.au and we can share it in the next edition of The Guardian.

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