With Spring comes Magpie swooping season and Forbes Shire Mayor, Phyllis Miller OAM would like to warn residents to keep their eyes out for them whilst getting your daily exercise.
"It's one of the few downfalls to Spring, that Magpie swooping increases. We know they are only doing it to protect their young and we must be mindful of them.
"Magpies are protected throughout NSW under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. This makes it illegal to kill the birds, collect their eggs or cause harm to them or their young.
"If you do come across a location that does have an aggressive swooping Magpie contact National Parks and Wildlife and they may be able to relocate the bird.
"Council will erect temporary signs in areas where they are known to be, just call our Rangers and they will put them up."
Following are some simple ways to protect yourself;
- Wear a hat or a helmet
- Wear glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes
- Walk quickly don't run
- Keep your eyes on the Magpie as you move away
- Keep your dog leashed as a dog off-leash will encourage the Magpie to swoop even more.
"There is a nationwide swooping map found on www.magpiealert.com. Currently Forbes has two sites identified," continues Mayor Miller. "Hills St and Farrand St so keep this in mind when in that particular area."
Magpies are very intelligent and tend to swoop if they have had a bad experience with a person. The majority of attacks are on cyclists, with magpies particularly alert to the speed and size of the movement.
"It is advised to get off your bike and wheel it quickly through the area," continues Mayor Miller. "Your bicycle helmet will protect your head, and you can attach a tall red safety flag to your bicycle or hold a stick or branch as a deterrent."
For more information regarding swooping magpies please see Council's website: www.forbes.nsw.gov.au.