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Magpies are an iconic part of life in Canberra.
Their distinctive chortling sounds can help lift our spirits whilst their ability to consume vast quantities of insects, particularly damaging lawn scarab grubs, make them a welcome visitor to our gardens. During swooping season, however, they can sometimes make us feel uneasy being outdoors. The arrival of Spring in Canberra is somewhat bittersweet as most residents will know to watch the trees when walking, carry sticks or start strapping some hilarious accoutrements to their bike helmets (hint: zip ties).
Magpies are gorgeous, misunderstood creatures and I can’t help but empathise with them. After all, we share a love of shiny things, we both prefer to dress in black and white and hey, if I perceived anyone as a threat to my children, I would probably swoop them too. Multiple times.
If we want to reside in the leafy suburbs of this glorious city all year round, we have to accept that magpie swoopings are a natural part of the changing of the seasons in Canberra. That being said, head wounds aren’t the healthiest things, so taking precautions where you suspect magpies might be present is probably a good idea. There are a few simple tips you can follow to avoid being swooped by magpies and make the most of Spring in Canberra.
Tips to protect yourself in a magpie’s territory
· wear a hat
· wear glasses
· walk your bike
· wear a helmet
· use an umbrella
· watch the bird
· walk your dog on a leash
· take a different route.
This video, made by TAMS helps you understand the ways in which you can protect yourself from swooping magpies this Spring.
More information on swooping magpies is available at www.tams.act.gov.au