Mag­pie swoop­ing sea­son in full flight

Ag­gres­sive bird re­lo­cated to re­duce the risk of at­tack

Central Telegraph - - NEWS -

AN AG­GRES­SIVE mag­pie that ter­rorised cy­clists along the Valen­tine Plains Rd bike­way has been re­lo­cated.

In a rare and dras­tic move, Ba­nana Shire Coun­cil or­gan­ised for the male mag­pie to be re­lo­cated be­cause the bird had be­come a risk to hu­man safety.

Di­rec­tor of coun­cil ser­vices John McDougall said it was fairly rare for a bird to be re­lo­cated and it was not a step that was rushed into.

“In or­der for coun­cil to be able to take ac­tion to re­lo­cate a bird, due process needs to be fol­lowed in ac­cor­dance with strin­gent Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion guide­lines,” Mr McDougall said.

“This in­cludes doc­u­ment­ing the his­tory of ag­gres­sive at­tacks.

“Pro­vid­ing coun­cil with pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence of an in­jury or video of an at­tack can be ex­tremely ben­e­fi­cial.

“Due to this strict process around the re­lo­ca­tion of a bird, the best course of ac­tion you can take is to avoid any ar­eas where the bird is swoop­ing.

“Coun­cil un­der­stands the in­con­ve­nience but would like to re­mind res­i­dents that this is a small sac­ri­fice we make to live in such a fan­tas­tic part of the world where th­ese birds are a pro­tected species.”

Fac­tors that need to be con­sid­ered be­fore a bird is re­lo­cated are: lo­ca­tion of the bird and nest, stage of the nest­ing cy­cle, the type of at­tack, and whether the area can be avoided.

The male is re­lo­cated, while the fe­male and the nest re­main in place.

In most cases where a bird has been re­lo­cated, an­other male will move into the same ter­ri­tory to pro­tect and nest any­way, and there is po­ten­tial the new male could be even more ag­gres­sive than the bird re­moved.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that mag­pies re­mem­ber their at­tacker, so if you at­tack a mag­pie, they will be­come more ag­gres­sive to­ward you.

An ex­am­ple of this is if chil­dren in a par­tic­u­lar school uni­form at­tack a mag­pie, the bird may then at­tack other chil­dren in the same uni­form.

Mag­pies will gen­er­ally only de­fend a ra­dius of 150m.

One of the known mag­pie swoop­ing lo­ca­tions in Biloela is Mel­ton Park.

The mag­pie in this park seems to only swoop bi­cy­cles and mo­bil­ity scoot­ers

If us­ing one of th­ese ve­hi­cles, please travel around the perime­ter of the park, or if us­ing the park there is a bike rack lo­cated

across from the li­brary.

An­other known mag­pie swoop­ing spot is Li­ons Park in Moura. The coun­cil ad­vises to avoid us­ing this park as a thor­ough­fare.

To re­port an af­fected area or par­tic­u­larly ag­gres­sive mag­pie, please phone the coun­cil on 4992 9500.

Mag­pies lo­cated on pri­vate prop­erty will have to be assessed by a li­censed per­son of­fer­ing mag­pie re­lo­ca­tion ser­vices.

To re­port a swoop­ing in­ci­dent to the na­tional mag­pie alert map, go to www.mag­pieal­ert.com. This can warn oth­ers in the area.

PHOTO: KEVIN FARMER

TAKE CARE: Two mag­pies swoop to de­fend their ter­ri­tory from a post­man on a mo­tor­bike.

Cy­clists are of­ten tar­geted.

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