Spring is a wonderful time of the year, what with the blooming flowers, the bees, and well, it just about seems as if everything’s coming to life after the winter chill. Even magpies, all the way from the depths of hell itself. And while the mention of Satan’s season may bring forth a looming sense of dread, safety measures can help survive the angry bird’s rage. Here’s how to protect yourself from swooping magpies this spring.
Magpies will usually only attack within their ‘defence zone’, which is the area within 110 – 150m of their eggs and babies.
It’s usually male magpies doing the swooping, anytime between July and November each year to protect their newly hatched chicks.
Now if you’re in the middle of one of these magpie war zones, we feel for you, we know your pain.
Avoiding ‘defence zones’ altogether is obviously the best case scenario, but if you can’t, there are some safety measures you can take to stay safe from swooping magpies. Move calmly and quickly through the area, wear a hat, or carry a stick or umbrella over your head. If you’re cycling, you should wear a helmet, dismount your bike and then walk through the area.
Watching magpies constantly when walking through ‘defence zones’ has also proved effective. Draw a pair of “eyes” and attach them to the back of your hat or helmet.
“I’ve got my eye on you, Barry.”
There’s also this very handy map from the Department of Environment, Land and Water Planning. The Victorian Swooping Bird Map includes locations where people were swooped, so that you can be extra careful. The current map has two layers, showing swoop locations for both this year and last year. If you happen to get swooped, you can add the location to the map, so that other people can be mindful when they’re in the area.