Redlands Coast residents are reminded that it is nesting season for magpies and these overprotective parents may swoop if they see a threat to their young.
Mayor Karen Williams said the traditional breeding season for many swooping birds such as magpies, plovers and butcherbirds, was from now until December.
“Some of these birds do become overzealous while protecting their nests,” Cr Williams said.
“In a way they are like ‘helicopter parents’. They are highly involved, overprotective and oversee every aspect of their children’s lives.
“In the case of magpies, it is the male parent that swoops if they perceive a threat, while the female remains on the nest.”
By understanding the reason behind this defensive behaviour, and taking some simple steps when in their vicinity, residents can stay safe from swooping birds, Cr Williams said.
“It is important to remember that retaliating by waving or throwing objects at the birds only increases their aggression as their perception of threat is heightened,” she said.
“Magpies will only swoop in what is called the defence zone – a 100m radius from the nest. They will go a bit further out when they want to discourage a cyclist.”
How to avoid being swooped:
- It is important to respect birds’ warning calls and avoid the area if possible
- Use an alternate route or stay at least 150m clear of a nest area if you can
- Wear a hat and sunglasses or hold a bag or umbrella over your head if you cannot avoid a nesting area
- Get off and walk your bicycle around nest areas
- Or, If riding a bicycle, put spike or flag decorations on your helmet
- Never approach or try to pick up a young magpie
- Walk quickly through the area, but don’t run
- Walk in a group when possible
Visit Redland City Council’s website for more useful advice on swooping birds.