The best thing to do for magpie swooping season

A fledgeling magpie will be protected by its parent.
A fledgeling magpie will be protected by its parent. Sharon McGrigor

Spring has sprung and the Magpies are swooping again.

WIRES are advising Northern Rivers residents that magpies generally only swoop for a few weeks each year when people enter the territory where they are nesting.

The reason they are so protective is that their young are very vulnerable to predators, from hatchling to fledgling stage.

Magpies are usually just giving us a warning when they swoop and generally only defend within 100 metres of their nest site.

Although, harrasment of them or their nests and young can result in aggressiveness.

So never harass, hit or provoke nesting birds; do not throw anything at a bird or nest, and never climb a tree to remove eggs or chicks.

A harassed bird will distrust you and as they have a great memory they will target you in future.

The best thing to do for these few weeks a year, in both of the above instances, is to avoid areas where magpies are known to be nesting.

If possible use the other side of the road or garden while Maggie is breeding, and enjoy watching the young as they learn from their devoted parents.

For the rest of the year outside of the breeding season magpies are friendly visitors to your garden and invaluable pest managers, eating a wide variety of insect pests.

Contact WIRES for rescues, advice or enquiries.

The 24-hour hotline is for all calls to WIRES in the Northern Rivers - 6628 1898 or visit   


Topics:  magpie season northern rivers animals

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