Swooping Hotspots

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Camera IconCredit: Jacinta Cantatore/Jacinta Cantatore

Do you stick cable ties to your bike helmet, or are you more partial to the old hat and sunglasses trick?

Whatever your technique, Harvey shire staff are hoping residents can share any close encounters of the magpie kind to help identify swooping hotspots.

Harvey shire principal environmental health officer Scott Dandridge said the magpie breeding season was in full swing until December and people should be aware the birds would swoop to defend their nests from perceived threats.

“We are asking the community to let us know where the known hotspots are in the shire for magpie swooping so we can publicise this and help inform our residents of areas to avoid or be extra careful of,” Mr Dandridge said.

He said magpies initially attacked from the back, but could then swoop back around, therefore wearing a hat and sunglasses could be a useful form of protection.

“Magpies are also known for swooping people riding bikes and I would recommend wearing a helmet and walking your bike through the magpie nesting areas,” he said.

“Remember that magpies are just trying to protect their nests and they are protected fauna so it is illegal to intentionally kill or injure magpies.”

If you know of an area in the shire that is known for swooping magpies either send the Harvey Shire Council a message on Instagram or email shire@harvey.wa.gov.au with the subject line Magpie Swooping Area.

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions wildlife officer Matt Swan recommends people wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses outdoors to protect their face and eyes and avoid swooping hotspots.

“To be on the safe side, it’s best to find an alternative route during peak nesting season to avoid being swooped,” Mr Swan said.

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