Stay safe during swooping season

An Australian Magpie perches on a railing.

An Australian Magpie perches on a railing.

There’s a flurry of nesting activity at this time of year, which also means it’s swooping season!

Why do magpies, plovers and butcher birds swoop? They are simply being good parents and keeping their young safe.

Plovers are especially vulnerable because they nest on the ground. The defence of their family rarely exceeds warning swoops by whichever parent is on guard. Their warning calls become more persistent the closer you get to their nest or chicks.

For magpies, only the male actively protects the chicks. His swooping will become targeted and more aggressive if he believes a person or object poses a particular danger. This is why it is so important not to retaliate by throwing or waving things at them, as it will only escalate the situation.

These birds will only swoop within a certain distance from their nest or young, usually within 150m. The key to avoid being swooped is to avoid the ‘swoop zone’. Learn how to stay safe during the swooping season.

Please contact Indigiscapes on 3824 8611 to report nesting areas where birds are swooping. Council will install temporary signage around nesting birds to warn others.

Bring the kids along to meet the magpies during a free wildlife education show at Wonderful Wildlife Day on Friday 30 September.

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