Sunday 16 September 2012
It's Magpie swooping season in Australia again. That's because it's breeding time and there are eggs, nests and young maggies to be protected.
Magpies are spirited defenders of their territory. They will dive-bomb anything or anyone that they perceive as a threat to their nesting site or feeding territory. They swoop down close, aiming for your head. Their beaks are powerful and can do considerable damage, causing cuts and abrasions or eye damage. If you're attacked while riding a bike a nasty fall could result.
Australian Magpies are protected by law. So you can't keep them as pets or harm them.
Magpies are extremely intelligent. They can recognise individual faces. If you ever threaten their territory they will threaten you again and again in the future.
If swooping Magpies become a danger in your area, it's best to contact your local council.
For more on Magpies and other swooping birds, see Australia's Dangerous Creatures for Dummies.