Swoop­ing sea­son here

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS - By Ali­son O’Con­nor

It’s that time of year again when only eyes in the back of your head will save you from the dreaded swoop­ing birds.

Some bird species, par­tic­u­larly mag­pies, have al­ready be­come ter­ri­to­rial and are swoop­ing passersby as part of their nor­mal breed­ing be­hav­iour.

De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning (DELWP) se­nior wildlife of­fi­cer Gary Dash said the first in­ci­dents of mag­pies swoop­ing had been re­ported over the past few weeks.

‘‘Be­ing swooped by a ter­ri­to­rial bird is no fun, but this is just nor­mal bird be­hav­iour and, if pos­si­ble, the best re­sponse is to keep away from the area,’’ he said.

‘‘If you do end up in an area where there is a swoop­ing bird, try to pro­tect your head and eyes and move quickly through the area.

‘‘They are swoop­ing to de­fend their eggs and young and if they per­ceive you to be a po­ten­tial threat, they may swoop.

‘‘Some of the places where peo­ple are most likely to be swooped are pub­lic spa­ces such as parks, par­tic­u­larly where there are tall eu­ca­lypts.’’

Na­tive birds, such as mag­pies, are pro­tected un­der the Wildlife Act 1975, and can not be harmed.

DELWP is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to no­tify oth­ers in their lo­cal area about swoop­ing birds by re­port­ing a swoop­ing in­ci­dent by any species of bird on Vic­to­ria’s mag­pie map at www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/ man­ag­ing-wildlife/ swoop­ing-birds

Watch out: Mag­pies have started to swoop early this sea­son.

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