Start of swooping bird season reminds residents to be alert and tolerant of our wildlife during spring

Start of swooping bird season reminds residents to be alert and tolerant of our wildlife during spring

Posted on 02. Sep, 2010 in Clayton Update

Swooping season is upon us again, so residents in the Clayton electorate are being reminded to keep an eye out for Australian Magpies and other birds that swoop to defend their nests over the coming months.

Australian Magpies start breeding in August and tend to begin earlier each year.

Hong Lim is urging people to be aware and take a few simple precautions against being swooped this spring.

“It can be real shock for people to encounter a swooping bird, particularly young children. The most important strategy to deal with a swooping bird defending its nest is to keep as far away as possible, until the young birds have left the nest, says Hong Lim.

“Exchanging local knowledge about current swooping hotspots is a key tactic in avoiding swoop attacks and taking extra precautions when around the area.

“This year, the Department of Sustainability and Environment have developed the ‘Victorian Magpie Map’ and are advising Victorians who are swooped by any species of bird to report the incident, so that they can update the community on some of the swooping hotspots throughout Victoria, he said.”

Residents can contact the DSE Customer Service Centre on telephone 138 186, or via email on swoopvic.vic.gov.au to submit a swooping hotspot to Victoria’s Magpie Map.

“I highly encourage my local residents to visit the DSE website at www.dse.vic.gov.au/swoop to download the ‘Swoop off’ kit.  It contains top tips to protect yourself against swooping birds and printable images of eyes which can be attached the back of a hat or bike helmets. 

Some of these top tips to reduce the risk posed by swooping birds include:

  • Wearing a hat or bike helmet to protect your head;
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes;
  • If you ride a bike, attaching long cable ties protruding from the top of your helmet;
  • Putting up an umbrella while crossing the swooping area; and
  • Dismounting your bike walking past the immediate area.

 

“Some of these strategies may not work against some birds but they may be useful when avoidance of the area is not possible.  Above all, the advice is not to scare or attack the bird. It’s illegal to harm native wildlife and an aggressive response can make the swooping behaviour worse, says Hong Lim.

For more information or to download a ‘Swoop Off’ kit go to www.dse.vic.gov.au/swoop

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