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Swooping September is upon us

While many of us are excited to wave goodbye to the region’s Winter months and soak up the sun in the region’s beautiful outdoor spaces, this simple pleasure can come at a cost during the early weeks of Spring. With magpie swooping season now upon us, it’s time to start thinking about ways to get through this time unscathed.

According to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), magpie swooping season generally lasts between four to six weeks. Swooping attacks are a way for the birds to deter ‘intruders’ who may threaten their young during nesting season.

Mayor Ian Tiley said there are a number of things the community can do to minimise the risk of swooping when enjoying our region’s parks during this time.

“Based on recommendations from the DPIE, some tips include avoiding areas that you know are magpie territory, dismounting from your bike when going past to minimise noise that may provoke the birds, and never harassing or provoking nesting birds,” said Mayor Tiley.

“Most importantly, try and keep calm and do not panic. While you should walk quickly, do not run, and try to remember to place your arms above your head to protect yourself as you walk by.”

Other tactics include looking making eye contact with the magpie or drawing eyes on the back of a helmet to make the magpie think it is being watched (making it less likely to attack), wearing a hat or helmet to protect your head, or holding a stick or an open umbrella above your head as a deterrent.

While a magpie attack can be scary, it is usually only a warning and it is rare that the bird will strike someone on the head with beak or claws.

The community is reminded that magpies are a protected species in NSW, and it is against the law to harm them, collect their eggs, or harm their young.

For more information, visit the NSW DPIE’s website.

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