HomeNewsMagpie warning as spring swooping begins

Magpie warning as spring swooping begins

A police officer became the target of a magpie while riding through Childers on 18 August.

Magpie swooping season is just around the corner and already an angry bird has been captured assaulting a police officer.

The magpie was captured on camera swooping a Road Policing Unit Officer who was riding through Childers on 18 August.

Fortunately, the officer was fine but said the run-in was “not what he was expecting” while making patrols.

According to the Magpie Alert website there’s also been two magpie swooping incidents in Qunaba and Bargara.

Swooping magpies act instinctively

Alexandra Park Zoo group supervisor, David Flack, said magpies swoop only during mating season in spring, when they basically become over-protective parents.

“The mating season can vary from state to state, but it’s generally between late August and October,” David said.

“Magpies swoop because they are trying to deter others from entering their territory and coming close to their young.

“They don’t want to hurt you; they want to protect their nest, and they do that by letting you know that you’re on the wrong track.”

David suggested that the best response to being swooped was to maintain a normal walking or riding pace and leave the area.

“My advice to people would be to keep your head down, keep calm, keep walking or riding and leave the area,” he said.

While hats, sunnies and attaching cable ties to helmets can help to prevent magpies from swooping, David said the best advice was to simply avoid areas where swooping magpies are on watch.

“Breeding season is only for a short period of time each year, so I think the important thing is to leave the magpies alone,” he said.

Magpie swooping preventative action

Bundaberg Regional Council puts up warning signs if there are aggressive magpies in the area.

Parks and gardens spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said council works to educate the public about the best ways to respond to swooping.

“We inform residents and visitors of the swooping season prior to its commencement, and as a preventative action place warning signs in areas where multiple swoops have occurred in the past,” Cr Honor said.  

“We don’t manage birds, rather we try to educate and inform residents so they can alter their own actions, if need be.”

Magpies are a protected species in Australia, and it is illegal to capture, harm or kill them.

You can monitor and report locations of magpies by visiting Magpie Alert.

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