’Tis the season for swooping birds

As spring approaches so does the peak of swooping bird season.

Ipswich City Council Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Deputy Mayor Russell Milligan said wildlife and human conflict was inevitable this time of year, but there were ways to manage most situations.

“Swooping bird behaviour is temporary, and usually only lasts about six to eight weeks,” Deputy Mayor Milligan said.

“For birds such as magpies and plovers, it is a natural behaviour while they have eggs or newly-hatched chicks to protect.”

Deputy Mayor Milligan said if there was a swooping ‘defence zone’ in your area, the best option was to avoid those places for a few weeks if possible.

“The defence zone is normally about 110 metres from the nest for pedestrians, and about 150 metres for cyclists,” Deputy Mayor Milligan said.

“If there are swooping birds on council land, such as local roads, council can evaluate the situation and may take actions such as installing signage.”

Deputy Mayor Milligan said it was important to remember that harming native birds is against the law.

“Only about nine per cent of magpies are aggressive towards people, and many of those showing aggression have experienced aggression from humans,” Deputy Mayor Milligan said.

To keep yourself safe and protect our wildlife here are some tips to follow:

  • Keep clear of the breeding area by taking a different route during swooping season
  • Wear sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat
  • If riding a bike near a breeding area, dismount and walk
  • Maintain eye contact with the bird if you have to enter the defence zone
  • Help educate your family, neighbourhood and community of defence zones in your area

Read also:

>> New cycling link to Ipswich city centre now open

>> Small but significant, look out for fireweed this season

>> Flooding no match for tenacity of Ipswich sporting clubs


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