Please note: this is an archived news article release

This article was published on Friday, 8 September, 2017. The information contained within may be out of date or inaccurate. News articles and media releases older than 60 days are archived for future reference.

Look out for Swooping Magpies

Greater Shepparton City Council advises residents to be on alert for swooping magpies when out and about over the next couple of months.

Magpies breed between August and October and can swoop if they feel threatened.

Greater Shepparton City Council Director Sustainable Development Johann Rajaratnam said “as magpies are native birds, Council cannot stop them swooping or remove them from certain areas.”

“Swooping can occur any time of the year, however it is increased in Spring when the birds are protecting their nests. We encourage people to be on alert and aware of the areas that magpies reside in, where swooping may occur,” Mr Rajaratnam said.

Tips to avoid being swooped

  1. Know your local swooping hotspots

Keep informed about parks, schoolyards and bike trails in your local area by reading your local newspapers, viewing Victoria’s ‘Magpie Map’ on or contacting your local council.

  1. Avoid the area

The best way to protect yourself from a swooping bird, is to avoid venturing into their territory.

  1. Move quickly

If you must pass through the area – move quickly – do not run.

  1. Cover your head

Wear a hat or carry a stick or umbrella above your head. Cyclists should wear a helmet, dismount and walk through the area.

  1. Eyes at the back of your head

Birds may be less likely to swoop if they think you are watching them. Draw a pair of ‘eyes’ and attach to the back of hats and helmets.

  1. Do not harass wildlife

Don’t interfere with or throw stones at birds. This gives them added reason to see humans as a threat and may increase swooping behaviour.

  1. Do not destroy nests

This may prompt birds to rebuild their nests, prolonging the swooping behaviour.

  1. Don’t feed swooping birds.
  2. Travel in a group

If possible, try to travel in a group in areas where there are swooping birds.

  1. Notify others

Put up warning signs for others who may not be aware that there are swooping birds in the area.


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