Sea­son of mad mag­pies is in full flight

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jil­lian McKee

MAG­PIE sea­son is in full swing, kick­ing off a six-week reign of terror to post­men, pedes­tri­ans and ev­ery­one in be­tween.

A re­lent­less bird has been keep­ing guard over Spica Re­serve in Ersk­ine Park this week.

Ac­cord­ing to mag­pieal­, at least two peo­ple have been swooped and in­jured by mag­pies while walk­ing through the re­serve in the past month.

Foun­da­tion for Na­tional Parks and Wildlife chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Su­sanna Brad­shaw said peo­ple should re­main calm if they came un­der at­tack.

“It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber not all mag­pies swoop … In fact it is es­ti­mated only 9 per cent of mag­pies swoop,” Ms Brad­shaw said. “Septem­ber is usu­ally the peak swoop­ing month and they will start to calm down and you can go about your busi­ness.”

Ms Brad­shaw said mag­pies were highly in­tel­li­gent and in­di­vid­ual birds would of­ten have their own tar­gets based on past ex­pe­ri­ences. “There is a method to this mad­ness as sci­en­tists be­lieve mag­pies swoop peo­ple who look like some­one who has both­ered them in the past,” she said.

Pen­rith Coun­cil has mag­pie warn­ing signs at Po­plar Park in North St Marys, Spica Re­serve in Ersk­ine Park and along the perime­ter of Cook and Banks play­ing fields in St Clair.

Black­town Coun­cil does not have any signs in place, how­ever in­ci­dents have been re­ported along the M7 cy­cle­way in Eastern Creek, at Mt Druitt Park in Mt Druitt and along Bunt­ing St, Emer­ton.

Pic­tures: PETER KELLY

Re­porter Jil­lian McKee gets her head down just in time as the an­gry mag­pie at­tacks and (inset) the af­ter­math of the ter­ri­fy­ing en­counter.

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