Swooping season set to begin

Redland City residents are reminded that the scent of flowers isn’t the only thing in the air as we approach spring.

Warmer weather also heralds the beginning of nesting season and swooping behavior for birds such as magpies, plovers and butcherbirds.

Redland City Council Environmental spokesperson Cr Paul Gleeson said that while a magpie or plover attack could be frightening, there were simple measures people could take to protect themselves without harming the birds.

“Magpies and plovers aren’t bad guys, rather highly protective parents looking after their young and they play a crucial role in the local ecosystem,” Cr Gleeson said.

“People should not retaliate with sticks or by waving objects as this can make adult birds even more aggressive.
“The IndigiScapes website has a link to a map where you can view known birding swooping sites or add new ones.

“The best thing to do is avoid areas where birds are swooping during the eight-week period that a nest is being defended, which may be as simple as walking on the other side of the road. 

“Other ways that you can be safe from swooping birds include wearing a hat and sunglasses or holding your bag or an open umbrella over your head if entering the nesting area.

“Cyclists should add spikes to their helmets and a flag to their bike. They should also dismount from their bike when in a nesting area as speeding up only increases the intensity of the swooping.”

People should not to pick up young birds if they see them on the ground because even if you can’t see the parents, they will be close by. Parent birds will think that you are kidnapping their baby and become more protective next time they have young.

To access the magpie map, or for more information on magpies and swooping birds, visit indigiscapes.redland.qld.gov.au/Animals/Magpies/Pages.

If you find an injured bird, call the Redlands Wildlife Care Network on 3833 4031.