Be Aware of Swooping Birds

Be Aware of Swooping Birds
02 Oct 2023

Magpie breeding season is here, and residents are urged to take extra precautions when outdoors.

The arrival of spring heralds the start of the nesting season, and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions – Parks and Wildlife Service is urging Western Australians to look out for swooping birds, such as magpies.

From August to November, it is the nesting season for magpies. Occasionally, male magpies become territorial to protect their young and may swoop if they believe the nest or offspring are in danger.

The following steps can be followed to avoid or reduce the impact of a swooping magpie:

  • Never deliberately provoke or harass a magpie. Throwing sticks or stones usually makes them more defensive. Magpies have good memories and they may continuously swoop a potential aggressor.
  • Avoid areas where magpies are known to swoop. Remember, magpie hostility lasts only a few weeks and they usually only defend a small area of about 100m radius around their nest.
  • Locate the bird and keep watching it when entering its territory. If it swoops, don’t crouch in fear or stop: move on quickly, but don’t run.
  • If you are riding a bike, make sure you wear a helmet, and dismount and walk through nesting magpie territory.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses or carry an umbrella for protection. Magpies initially attack from behind but can swoop back around.
  • Adopt a confident stance as this can have a strong deterrent effect.

The Shire has been notified about magpies swooping in the following locations:

  • Along the railway and in the bakery area on Harper Street in Harvey.