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Magpies swoop in for spring

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) is reminding people to watch out for swooping magpies, after receiving a string of reports from the public.

During the last seven weeks, the department has received more than 70 calls about magpies displaying aggressive behaviour towards people in the Perth metropolitan area.

DPaW wildlife officer Teagan Johnston said magpies were most active during the spring months.

“We expect that the number of calls from concerned residents who encounter an aggressive magpie will rise sharply as we approach summer,” she said.

“Male magpies are territorial and may swoop at people if they think their nest or offspring are being threatened but they are only doing what comes naturally to them when defending their young ones.

“If magpies pose a serious safety risk to people, a dangerous fauna licence may be issued to remove the offending birds.

“Tall trees in the suburbs provide the perfect environment for magpie nests and the best way to avoid being swooped is to find an alternative way of passing their breeding sites for the six to eight weeks that magpies usually defend their nest.

“We also encourage people to protect themselves by wearing a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses to conceal their face and eyes.

“People should not look towards swooping magpies and they should ensure that children do not throw rocks or sticks at the birds as this will only exacerbate their attacks.”

If you are concerned about aggressive magpies in your area, contact DPaW's Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999