If you’ve been swooped by a magpie recently, you’re not alone. Magpie swooping season is upon us and council’s ranger services team is urging people to exercise common sense to stay safe.
Coordinator Ranger Services Brett Keys said people have reported swooping magpies at several spots in the Central Highlands and council has erected warning signs in some of those areas.
‘If you realise you are in an area where magpies are swooping, focus on getting out of the magpies’ territory as quickly as possible, without putting your own safety at risk,’ Mr Keys said.
Mr Keys said the swoop zone was generally about 100 metres long and that acting aggressively toward the birds will only cause them to become more aggressive and persist with attacking.
‘If you are walking, wear glasses and a hat and walk under an umbrella if possible,’ he said.
‘If you are on a bike, dismount and walk out of the zone. If you stay on your bike, you are likely to be focused on by the bird swooping and run the risk of falling off or running into oncoming traffic or other pedestrians.’
Cyclists are also encouraged to attach cable ties to their helmets to deter magpies.
Mr Keys said magpies use swooping to warn others to keep away from their eggs or newly-hatched chicks and the breeding season usually ends in October.
‘So the season will be over before you know it but between now and then, if you do come across an aggressive magpie, add it to the national crowd-sourced magpie alert map at www.magpiealert.com.
‘Add swooping incidents to the map to help others avoid the area and check the map for any aggressive birds on your usual routes.’
For more information and tips on staying safe from swooping magpies, visit www.ehp.qld.gov.au.