Magpie season is here
Magpie season occurs between August and December. During a period of about six weeks, magpies are breeding and tend to be protective of their chicks. The male magpie may swoop on anyone who gets too near the nest. Usual warnings include beating their wings, clacking their beaks and occasionally pecking. The attack is usually limited to the magpie ‘defence zone’ around the nest tree. This is about 100 metres in radius. The bird’s aim is just to drive away the intruder, not to cause injury. A few simple actions can help: • Stay well clear of areas where there are nesting trees. • If you must enter the area, move through it quickly but don’t run. • Magpies are less likely to swoop if you look at them. Try to keep an eye on the magpie while walking carefully away. • Wear a hat and sunglasses or carry an umbrella for protection. • Bike riders should dismount and walk through the territory. Research has shown that the swooping stops when riders get down and walk. You may think you can outrun the bird but accidents can happen when cyclists swerve to avoid it. Fitting an orange traffic flag onto your bicycle as well as zippy ties attached to your helmet, can serve as deterrent. Remember, magpies will only swoop when there are chicks in the nest and they feel threatened. Be patient with them – they are only trying to be good parents.
Bundaberg Showgrounds Saturday, September 15 5pm to 9pm
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