Black and white foes out to swoop during magpie breeding season

The weather is gradually warming up, the flowers are beginning to bloom and the infamous flapping noise that is soon followed by a thump on the back of the head.

Those are the signs springtime is here and with it comes magpies that are extra protective of their eggs or young. 

During magpie breeding season, many places across Bathurst become no-go zones from late August until mid-October.

Wildlife Information and Rescue Service (WIRES) Central West bird coordinator Heather Snitch said it’s important to remember where one has been swooped.

“If you remember the area you’ve been swooped, it’s best to keep out of that area,” she said.

“Magpies tend to swoop less when you stare at them. They like to swoop you when your back is turned.”

Ms Snitch said magpies have a particular taste for swooping cyclists. 

“Your less likely to be swooped when you walk with your bike, rather then riding it,” she said.

“Magpies have good memories, so if you annoy them or take their nest down, they do remember you and will swoop you and not others next time.

“If you’re friendly with your local magpies, they tend to leave you alone.” 

Ms Snitch said she recalls a story when someone picked up a baby magpie, who had fallen out its nest, and tried to return it to its nest.

However, the parents didn’t take to kindly to generous act.

“If you ever see a baby magpie out of its nest, it’s best not to pick it up, rather call WIRES,” she said. 

WIRES can be contacted at 1300 094 737.

Magpie Alert! also proves to be a handy website to track and report magpie swooping attacks.

Five magpies attacks have been recorded on the map, since last month, in Bathurst.

South Bathurst has proven to be a hot spot, including on Vale Road and Torch Street. 

There has also been a report at CSU, Russell Street and out at Eglinton Road, near the turnoff to Abercrombie Drive. 

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