An­gry birds wing­ing it

Mag­pie havoc: Here’s the scoop on where they swoop

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - JACK MCKAY COUN­CIL RE­PORTER

SWOOP­ING mag­pies and plovers are still wreak­ing havoc on the streets of Bris­bane, with new fig­ures re­veal­ing the sub­urbs that walk­ers and cy­clists should avoid.

The Sun­day Mail can re­veal South Bris­bane has been home to the most bird at­tacks in the River City since 2016, fol­lowed by the up-mar­ket sub­urb of As­cot on the city’s north side.

The coun­cil has warned that breed­ing sea­son could still be un­der way, with swoop­ings usu­ally last­ing for about six weeks of the year.

There were about 630 swoop­ing at­tacks last fi­nan­cial year in Bris­bane – more than a dozen every week.

Bris­bane City Coun­cil’s en­vi­ron­ment, parks and sus­tain­abil­ity chair­man David McLach­lan urged res­i­dents who were con­cerned about bird at­tacks to take al­ter­na­tive routes.

“Coun­cil proac­tively mon­i­tors known swoop­ing loca- tions on foot­paths, bike­ways or in parks and in­stalls sig­nage dur­ing breed­ing sea­son,” he said. “In rare cases, where a bird has at­tacked and in­jured some­one, the State Govern­ment can pro­vide per­mis­sion for the bird re­spon­si­ble to (be re­lo­cated to) a more ap­pro­pri­ate area.”

Cr McLach­lan said mag­pies, plovers, butcher­birds, pee-wees and crows could be par­tic­u­larly ag­gres­sive in the breed­ing sea­son, swoop­ing up to 100m from their nests. Other swoop­ing hot spots in Bris­bane in­clude Brighton on the city’s bay­side and Padding­ton to the in­ner-west.

A spokesman for the Lo­gan City Coun­cil said mag­pies and butcher­birds reg­u­larly at­tacked res­i­dents dur­ing breed­ing sea­son. He said li­censed con­trac­tors were em­ployed by the coun­cil to “assess, trap and re­lo­cate” swoop­ing birds harm­lessly.

“On rare oc­ca­sions noisy min­ers and crows have also (been) known to swoop Lo­gan res­i­dents,” he said.

An Ip­swich Coun­cil spokesman said they would only re­lo­cate a swoop­ing bird if it posed a pub­lic health or safety risk, “for ex­am­ple, if a mag­pie is swoop­ing near a school ad­ja­cent to a busy road”.

WATCH OUT: A mag­pie swoop­ing a cy­clist on TJ Doyle Me­mo­rial Drive in Bris­bane's south. Pic­ture: Liam Kid­ston

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