Magpie, DBCA
Magpie, DBCA

The arrival of spring heralds the start of nesting season and the DBCA’s Parks and Wildlife Service is urging Western Australians to lookout for swooping birds, such as magpies.

Wildlife Officer Matt Swan said magpies nest between August and December and can become aggressive when trying to protect their eggs and young from perceived threats.

“Typically, it’s the male magpies that swoop. They are territorial birds and their natural instinct is to protect their offspring,” Mr Swan said.

“It can be intimidating when birds swoop. We recommend people wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses outdoors to protect their face and eyes, and avoid areas that are known to be swooping hotspots.

“Tall trees provide the perfect environment for nests. To be on the safe side, it’s best to find an alternative route during peak nesting season to avoid being swooped. We also ask that people don’t provoke magpies by throwing rocks and sticks at them.”

If a magpie poses a serious safety risk to people, a dangerous fauna licence may be issued to destroy the bird. If a licence is issued it is the responsibility of the land owner or manager to undertake the control measures.

At this time of year, other wildlife is also on the move. Ducks and ducklings leave their nest in search of wetlands and reptiles begin to emerge in search of food, water and warmth.

“We recommend people be aware of their surroundings and take extra care outdoors, particularly near swamps, lakes and bushland,” Mr Swan said.

“Simple precautions such as wearing long pants and enclosed footwear, and keeping a close eye on pets when out walking will make sure you stay safe.”

If you are concerned about swooping magpies or native wildlife in your area, contact the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

Page reviewed 11 Sep 2019