THEY’RE BACK: Terror from above as magpie season arrives
MAGPIE breeding season is underway and residents are being asked to be patient with this protected native animal.
Gympie Regional councillor Jess Milne said magpies swoop people who get too close to their babies’ nests.
“They swoop because they feel under threat and they are protecting their babies,” said Ms Milne.
“But in most cases, magpies will remember the facial features of the people living nearby and not swoop.
“These clever birds can live in the one location for up to 20 years, which means they get to know the people and families living nearby.”
But if you’re new to an area or you are out and about at one of the region’s parks or outdoor spaces where there are magpie nests, here are a few tips to keep you safe:
- Remember that the swooping only happens for about six to eight weeks; this is the time from when the magpie eggs hatch and the chicks leave the nest.
- Don’t act aggressively towards the birds - they are just defending and protecting their young. And because they remember facial features, if you act aggressively this year, they may be more aggressive to you in future years.
- Move quickly through an area but don’t run. If you are riding a bike, get off, if possible, and walk through the space.
- Walking in groups can sometimes reduce swooping.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat, use an umbrella or use another barrier to protect yourself.
“While we can take action to stay safe, it’s probably good to avoid areas where you know there are swooping magpies, just until their babies have left the nest,” said Cr Milne.