Think magpies are targeting you? You're dead right

WATCH OUT: Magpie swooping season is here again. Photo: Scottie Simmonds/NewsMail
WATCH OUT: Magpie swooping season is here again. Photo: Scottie Simmonds/NewsMail Scottie Simmonds BUN070911MAG1

IF YOU feel the magpies in your area may be deliberately targeting you, that may be because they are.

With Queensland in the middle of the magpie swooping season Birdlife Bundaberg president Nev Capell said they were no birdbrains.

"They're very intelligent birds," Mr Capell said.

"Magpies remember faces.

"If they've attacked you before they're likely to do it again."

Mr Capell said magpies were choosy about who they attacked.

"We've got magpies at the end of our street, and they've never swooped on us," he said.

"But they do swoop on some of the kids in the street."

Mr Capell said the breeding season, when magpies were out protecting their nests and chicks, started about the middle of last month.

"They normally breed in spring," he said.

"It's a little warmer here so they start earlier than they would down south."

A map of the magpie hotspots in Bundaberg.
A map of the magpie hotspots in Bundaberg.

Mr Capell said it seemed this season had been quieter than others.

"We get the odd email or phone call when the swooping season starts," he said.

"But there's been nothing yet this year."

Mr Capell said if a magpie became a problem it could be removed.

"If it's really bad and it's near a school or something people can get in touch with National Parks and get it moved," he said.

"If it's really bad they might have to destroy it."

Mr Capell said there was not much people could do to ward off attacks.

"If you know of an area where there is an aggressive magpie you can just walk or cycle around it," he said.

"Otherwise you can wear a helmet."

Mr Capell said magpies would carry on protecting their breeding sites until the young had left the nest.

The season would go on until about the end of September, when the young would be feeding themselves.

However, the young would probably stay with their parents for about six months after hatching.

Topics:  editors picks magpies

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