Choose flight over fight if magpies swoop

September 12, 2019 BY

A GOVERNMENT department is asking that people don’t harm magpies as swooping season begins.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is trying to ensure people react to the native birds aggression appropriately.

DELWP Barwon South West program manager of environmental compliance Mark Breguet says people need to be mindful of magpie behaviour.

“Magpie swooping occurs every year during breeding season and is largely a defensive manoeuvre carried out by some male birds when people come within close range of their eggs or fledgling birds.

“But the swooping is seasonal, healthy bird behaviour and so, if possible, the best response is to keep away from the area.”

Mr Breguet says it is important that we seek to live alongside our wildlife. He also noted that harming native birds can result in fines, or in extreme cases, imprisonment.

He said there are ways to minimise the risk caused by swooping birds.

“If you do end up in an area where there is a swooping bird, try to protect your head and eyes and move quickly through the area.

“We encourage people to share information about swooping birds by logging their encounter on our swooping bird map on the DELWP website.”

To view this map or report an incident, visit