IT'S that time of year again - swooping season.
Magpies become highly aggressive during breeding season - from late August to early October - and will often attack unsuspecting passers-by if they feel threatened.
Dr Kimberley Earl, from the Australian Veterinary Association, said magpies were highly protective of their eggs, nest and young.
“Tolerance is the best policy. We need to appreciate that some magpies will defend their territory from intruders because of a natural instinct to protect their offspring," she said.
“Fast moving objects such as people on bikes and anyone who moves towards their nests are perceived as threats and are likely to be swooped on. Dog walkers are also a common target.
“Think about using different pathways because moving the bird is not an option. Wildlife is protected and this type of action can lead to a more serious attack and in some cases, the death of the bird.”
- Wear a hat or carry a stick or umbrella which can be raised to fend off a sustained attack
- Cyclists should wear a helmet, dismount and walk through areas where swooping is common
- Draw a pair of eyes and attach them to the back of hats and helmets, as birds may be less likely to attack if they think you are watching them
- Don’t interfere with or throw stones at birds. This may give them added reason to see humans as a threat and increase swooping behaviour
- Put up warning signs for others who may not be aware there are swooping birds in the area, or ask your council to do so.