Magpie Swooping Season 

Magpies usually breed during Spring every year, and it's during this time that their protective swooping behaviour is in full force.  Magpies are urban species too, so there is generally no escaping them but you can try to prevent and avoid a magpie attack by following these tips.

  • 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 sunglasses 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.
  • If you sustain an injury or believe a bird is particularly dangerous, then inform Council and log your request at
  • Do not provoke the magpies, they are very territorial and will protect their nests.
  • Face the magpie – Magpies tend to attack from behind so facing them should avert an attack.
  • 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.

Find out more at