The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is reminding locals that some bird species, including Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen), have started to swoop people as part of their normal breeding behaviour. DELWP senior wildlife officer, Craig Oldis, said: “The first incidents of Australian magpies swooping at locations in and around Gippsland have been reported recently”. “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.
“As the weather starts to warm up, birds start breeding and we want people to be aware of swooping birds. “People should remember not to harm native birds as they are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. “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. DELWP is encouraging people to notify others in their local area about swooping birds. Report a swooping incident by any species of bird on Victoria’s online ‘Magpie Map’.