SCARY SWOOP: Magpies swooping children walking and riding bikes to school is worrying parents. File photo
SCARY SWOOP: Magpies swooping children walking and riding bikes to school is worrying parents. File photo

MAGPIE TERROR: Lismore kids ‘too scared’ to walk to school

A LISMORE mum is concerned that swooping magpies are scaring kids as they walk to school, and she's frustrated no-one wants to find a solution.

Sarah Richards said her children, aged 7 and 11 attend Albert Park Public School and walk along Keen St, where they are often attacked by a pair of aggressive magpies.

It is understood people using the Lismore Basketball Centre next door to the school have also been swooped.

"Everyone that lived in the area knows about these aggressive magpies," Ms Richards said.

"My children are terrified, I can see the fear in their faces.

"When the 11-year-old sprained his ankle and said he could not outrun the magpies, I could see the fear in his face, so I've had to leave work to drive him to school."

Ms Richards said she knew of about 20 kids who used to walk and ride their bikes together, but some had now stopped because of these magpies.

She said there was no other route for the children to take to avoid the birds.

"These two are scary," she said.

"Can't council move them?"

But Lismore City Council's environmental strategies coordinator, Leonie Walsh, said magpies often swoop to protect their young from July to November.

"A pair of magpies can claim territory for up to 20 years, which is why birds are often seen swooping in the same location year after year."

Ms Walsh said www.magpiealert.com was a great website that people can use to share information about how a particular magpie is behaving.

She urged people to understand that these birds were just doing what was natural to protect their young and she advised people to be cautious rather than alarmed.

"This behaviour usually lasts about six weeks, and in almost all cases ceases when the young leave the nest," she said.

"The best thing to do is avoid areas with swooping magpies and plan an alternative route until the behaviour stops."



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