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10 tips to stay safe during magpie swooping season

Yep, it’s the time of year that has us ducking and weaving to avoid the attacks of feisty, low flying magpies.

Ah spring is in the air…and with it comes the magpies!

Yep, it’s the time of year that has us ducking and weaving to avoid the attacks of feisty, low flying magpies.

Firstly, why do magpies seem hell bent on kamikaze diving on us when we’re out for walks enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather?

It’s all about their protective instincts.

For around 6 weeks from August to October, magpies are nesting, and it’s the male magpies job to keep their young ones safe from harm. When magpies see humans as being a potential threat, they swoop.

According to PETA though, only about 10% of breeding male magpies swoop humans, so that’s good news.

In other good news, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself from a magpie swoop, check out our top tips below:

  1. Avoid Magpie Nests where Possible. If your usual route to the local shops or work takes you past a magpie nest, the best course of action is to find another route if you can. If it takes you a little longer to walk that way during the 6 weeks the magpies are nesting, just think of the extra incidental exercise your banking!
  2. If you come across a magpie, stay calm and keep moving.
  3. Warn your neighbours. If you know of a swooping maggie in your area, put up signs to let others in your neighbourhood know. This could save drama for humans and birds alike.
  4. Cover up your noggin. When you’re out for your daily stroll, headwear is a must. Wear sunnies, a broad rimmed hat or helmet, or carry an umbrella.
  5. If you’re riding a bike, your best bet is to hop off and walk past the nesting area.
  6. Face the magpie as you move past it.
  7. Do NOT approach baby magpies on the ground. If you think the little bird may be injured, contact your local bird rescue branch.
  8. Do NOT act aggressively or wave your arms around and yell.
  9. Do NOT try to feed magpies. This may lead to long term health consequences for the bird.
  10. And most importantly… Remember that magpies have long memories. Scientists have discovered that magpies can recognise the faces of humans and and as they can live up to 30 years, it’s best to stay on their good side.

Stay safe out there!

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