Swoop­ing sea­son

The Tatura Guardian - - News - By De­clan Martin Do you know any hot spots for mag­pie ac­tiv­ity? Let us know via

Tatura res­i­dent Neville Crow is warn­ing peo­ple to watch out for mag­pies af­ter he was at­tacked by a dive-bomb­ing mag­pie while rid­ing his bike.

‘‘I was rid­ing my bike on Dhur­ringile Rd near the Gen­er­a­tions Church when a mag­pie swooped me five times,’’ Mr Crow said.

An­other hotspot for mag­pie ac­tiv­ity in Tatura, ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning, is on Casey St near Fran­cis St.

Greater Shepparton City Coun­cil has re­leased a sim­i­lar mes­sage to res­i­dents to be on alert for swoop­ing mag­pies when out and about dur­ing the next cou­ple of months.

‘‘Mag­pies breed be­tween Au­gust and Oc­to­ber and can swoop if they feel threat­ened,’’ coun­cil sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor Jo­hann Ra­jarat­nam said.

‘‘As mag­pies are na­tive birds, coun­cil can­not stop them swoop­ing or re­move them from cer­tain ar­eas.

‘‘Swoop­ing can oc­cur any time of the year, how­ever, it is in­creased in spring when the birds are pro­tect­ing their nests.

‘‘We en­cour­age peo­ple to be on alert and aware of the ar­eas that mag­pies re­side in, where swoop­ing may oc­cur.’’

Tips to avoid be­ing

swooped

1. Know your hotspots: Keep in­formed about parks, school­yards and bike trails in your lo­cal area by read­ing your lo­cal news­pa­pers, view­ing Vic­to­ria’s Mag­pie Map on www.delwp.vic. gov.au/en­vi­ron­ment-and­wildlife/wildlife/swoop­ing­birds?remap=delwp.vic.gov.au/ swoop or con­tact­ing your lo­cal coun­cil. 2. Avoid the area: The best way to pro­tect your­self from a swoop­ing bird, is to avoid ven­tur­ing into their ter­ri­tory. 3. Move quickly:

lo­cal swoop­ing If you must pass through the area move quickly — do not run. 4. Cover your head: Wear a hat or carry a stick or um­brella above your head. Cy­clists should wear a hel­met, dis­mount and walk through the area. 5. Eyes at the back of your head: Birds may be less likely to swoop if they think you are watch­ing them. Draw a pair of eyes and at­tach to the back of hats and hel­mets. 6. Do not ha­rass wildlife: Don’t in­ter­fere with or throw stones at birds. This gives them added rea­son to see hu­mans as a threat and may in­crease swoop­ing be­hav­iour. 7. Do not de­stroy nests: This may prompt birds to re­build their nests, pro­long­ing the swoop­ing be­hav­iour. 8. Don’t feed swoop­ing birds. 9. Travel in a group: If pos­si­ble, try to travel in a group in ar­eas where there are swoop­ing birds. 10. No­tify oth­ers: Put up warn­ing signs for oth­ers who may not be aware that there are swoop­ing birds in the area.

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