Shepparton News

Spring set to swoop

- By Georgia Rossiter www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/managing -wildlife/ swooping-birds

Get your bike helmets with zip-ties ready, because swooping season is almost upon us.

The Department of Environmen­t, Land, Water, and Planning is reminding Victorians to have an action plan in place for swooping incidents this spring.

DELWP Senior Wildlife Management officer Therese Davis said that though less than 10 per cent of magpies, masked lapwings and other swooping birds actually swooped, it could still be a scary experience.

“If you have an action plan and try to keep your distance, you’re already halfway to living harmonious­ly with wildlife and keeping yourself safe at the same time,” she said.

It’s even less common for birds to make contact with their target.

“Swooping is essentiall­y a scare tactic to warn people and animals not to come near the nesting young,” Ms Davis said.

“Although it’s definitely not fun for their targets.”

Birds become territoria­l during breeding season in order to protect their young.

Ms Davis suggests trying to remain calm, and avoiding known hotspots, as good ways to walk away unscathed.

“Try to remain as calm as you can if you find yourself being swooped,” she said.

“It’s very important not to do anything to threaten the swooping birds or interfere with their nests.

“Remember that they’re simply protecting their young.”

● For more informatio­n on swooping locations, or to report a swooping, you can visit Victoria’s interactiv­e map at

 ??  ?? Get set: Have a swooping action plan in place.
Get set: Have a swooping action plan in place.

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