Warning signs clear in Albany with magpie swooping season in full swing

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The warning signs are clear in Albany — magpie swooping season is in full swing.
Camera IconThe warning signs are clear in Albany — magpie swooping season is in full swing. Credit: Laurie Benson

The warning signs are clear in Albany — magpie swooping season is in full swing.

Magpies breed, nest and rear their young between August and October, and the territorial birds are known to swoop those who come near the tree they are nesting in.

Swooping is a magpie’s method of trying to protect their hatchlings from predators.

The birds rely on making themselves appear intimidating as their defence, flying low and fast while clacking their beak to deter predators.

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Anyone in a roughly 100m radius around the nest is a potential target.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions advises that the risk of a magpie swooping injury can be reduced by wearing a bike helmet if cycling, dismounting from a bike if travelling through known nesting areas and wearing a hat and sunglasses.

Magpie breeding season.
Camera IconMagpie breeding season. Credit: Laurie Benson

People should never deliberately provoke a magpie and avoid throwing anything in its direction.

If you are getting swooped by a magpie, the DBCA’s advice is to promptly leave the area without running.

People who are getting swooped are advised not to crouch or become stationary.

Warning signs have been set up under some known magpie nesting areas around Albany, warning passersby that swooping magpies have been reported in the area.

One magpie swooping “attack” that occurred in Bayonet Head in August this year has been recorded on national magpie incident reporting website magpiealert.com.

The reported incident involved a cyclist who was swooped while they were riding and struck by a magpie on their right shoulder, with no injuries reported.

Magpie territorial behaviour usually lasts several weeks, when the birds are most protective of their young.

Areas with swooping magpies can be reported to the City of Albany on 6820 3000.

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