Let others know about swooping magpies by emailing the location, date of swooping and any useful information about the bird or area to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do magpies swoop?
Magpies swoop as a means of protecting their patch as they care for their offspring. Whether it is a raised stick, a thrown object or a disturbed nest, the magpie sees it as a threat.
This might be because magpies have remarkable memories. Protecting their area is a lesson they have learnt. And they are protecting their offspring as any parent would do.
Through our previous actions towards them, some magpies now view us humans as a risk to their fledglings. Swooping is a territorial behaviour. Magpies are simply doing what comes naturally.
Tips to avoid swooping magpies:
- Avoid the hotspot if possible.
- If you do have to travel through the hotspot, consider walking rather than riding.
- Protect your head with a hat, umbrella or helmet and wear glasses to protect your eyes.
- Maintain direct eye contact as you calmly leave their territory.
As tempting as it is, hand-fed magpies soon become dependent, causing not only dietary complications but a fundamental shift in their natural instincts.
Their powerful recall means they can develop aggressive tendencies, associating people with food. It's best not to feed the birds.