Swooping season

We've put together some helpful tips to keep you safe this swooping season:

  • Stay alert and pay attention for any magpie and other birds’ (including Plovers and Butcher Birds) nesting sites.
  • Travel in groups where possible as the birds often target individuals.
  • Keep an ear open for their distinctive calls.
  • Wear sun glasses and a broad-brimmed hat or shelter under an umbrella to protect your face from swooping magpies.
  • If a magpie swoops while you are cycling, it will probably stop swooping if you get off your bike and walk.
  • If you spot a magpie nesting site, then stay well clear and even plan alternative routes.
  • Remember magpies are urban species too, so there is generally no escaping them.
  • If you sustain an injury or believe a bird is particularly dangerous, then inform Council
  • Do not provoke the magpies, they are very territorial and will protect their nests.
  • It is important to try to stay calm, if you panic and flap then this is more likely to appear as aggressive behaviour and provoke a further attack. Don’t fight back if a magpie swoops. Throwing sticks and stones or yelling at a magpie are likely to make it more aggressive next time anyone enters the defence zone around their nest.
  • Try to protect your eyes with your hands, those large beaks are very sharp and eye injuries have been previously recorded.
  • Magpies seem to have very good memories and have attacked the same people over subsequent seasons and others they just leave alone. If it's attacked you before probably a good idea to use an alternative route next season.