Magpie Swooping in Kedron Reported

Photo credit: CC-BY/Department of Environment & Primary Industries /Flickr

There have been quite a few instances of magpie swooping in Kedron. In particular, a swooping magpie has been spotted at 1 Benelong Street.

In the report sent to Magpie Alert, the magpie made contact with a man walking along 1 Benelong Street on 14 September 2018. Fortunately, the attack did not cause any injury.

Fast Facts About Magpies

The Australian magpie is a native Australian bird that is protected under the State Wildlife Legislation (Nature Conservation Act 1992). It is a serious offence to harm magpies and penalties apply for attempting to harm them.

Photo credit: JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons

Understanding how magpies behave can also help you stay safe around them. Here are just a few good-to-know facts about magpies:

  • Only nine per cent of magpies are aggressive towards people. Magpie attacks usually happen during their breeding season between July and November.
  • It is important to remember that a magpie becomes aggressive when it is defending its nest. A magpie will only defend its nest within a ‘defence zone’. For pedestrians, this is usually an area within 110m and for cyclists it is 150m.
  • Not all magpies swoop. Almost all swooping magpies are male ones who are defending their eggs and chicks.
  • A magpie’s defensive behaviour can range from a non-contact swoop with or without beak snapping, through to pecking, dive-bombing, and sometimes front-on attacks from the ground.
  • A few attacks are more serious leading to bloodied ears and cheeks or even eye injury. The risk of eye injury means all magpie attacks need to be taken seriously.


Safety Tips

Photo credit: Hughesdarren/Wikimedia Commons

With the reported cases of magpie swooping in Kedron, here are some tips to keep yourself safe during the magpie swooping season.

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  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses or shelter under an umbrella to protect your face from swooping magpies. Painting or sticking large ‘eyes’ on the back of your hat can also deter magpies—but this won’t work for cyclists.
  • If a magpie swoops while you are cycling, it will probably stop swooping if you get off your bike and walk.
  • Avoid ‘defence zones’ by taking alternative routes during the breeding season.
  • If you must enter a ‘defence zone’, magpies will be less likely to swoop if they are watched constantly, or if people walk in a close group.
  • Use signs to warn others of the location of nests and defence zones, particularly in areas used by children and the elderly.
  • Waving sticks or umbrellas in the air or attaching a brightly coloured flag on a long pole to your bicycle can stop magpies from swooping.

Important reminder: If a magpie that is defending its nest becomes aggressive and a risk to human safety, the magpie may, in some instances, be removed.

Contact your local council to see if they have a removal program. Alternatively, you can search for a nearest licensed magpie relocator from the Yellow Pages. This commercial service usually charge fees, typically paid by the complainant or landowner.

To learn more about the magpie swooping hotspots around your area or to report a magpie attack, you may visit Magpie Alert’s official website or Facebook page.