Magpie map: Find swooping hotspots in the Yass Valley

Magpie swooping hotspots in the Yass Valley.
Magpie swooping hotspots in the Yass Valley.

Swooping season is here, so if you're out walking, running or cycling across the Yass Valley, don't forget to keep an eye out for magpies or use our interactive map to check for hotspots.

Let others know about swooping magpies by emailing the location, date of swooping and any useful information about the bird or area to: hannah.sparks@yasstribune.com.au

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.