How to avoid swooping magpies

magpie attack

WITH spring beginning this weekend, the ACT Parks and Conservation Service is sharing tips about how to avoid swooping magpies. 

ACT Parks and Conservation Service director Daniel Iglesias says a majority of magpies will not be prone to swooping, but if a magpie feels threatened by an intruder, swooping is a defensive method for them to protect their young.

“Magpies are quite intelligent and will remember colours and noises which they associate with danger,” he says.

“If a magpie feels threatened, its instinct will be to swoop the intruder. When people harass magpies, it encourages increasingly aggressive behaviour.”

ACT Parks and Conservation Service’s tips to help avoid being swooped:

  • walk quickly through magpie territory, but don’t run
  • take alternate routes if possible
  • wear hats, helmets, glasses or take an umbrellas
  • keep domestic animals on leash while in magpie territory
  • maintain eye contact with the magpie
  • walk bikes through magpie territory.

“Magpies are a valuable part of our native wildlife. By following some simple precautions we can live in harmony with them,” Mr Iglesias says.

If there is a territorial magpie in a neighbourhood, contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81 and for more information visit

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