Tips to stay safe from swooping magpies

Published Thursday, 5th September 2019

Spring marks the beginning of the magpie nesting season, bringing an increased risk of swooping to unsuspecting people.


The best way to avoid being swooped is to stay away from areas known to have nesting magpies:

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions also recommends the following steps can be followed to avoid and reduce the impact of a swooping magpie:

  • Never deliberately provoke or harass a magpie. Throwing sticks or stones usually makes them more defensive. Magpies have good memories and may continuously swoop a potential aggressor.
  • Locate the bird and keep watching it when entering its territory. If it swoops, don’t crouch in fear or stop: move on quickly but don’t run.
  • If you are riding a bike, make sure you wear a helmet and dismount bikes and walk through magpie areas. 
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses and carry an umbrella for protection. Magpies initially attack from behind but can swoop back around.
  • Adopt a confident stance as this can have a strong deterrent effect.

Within the City of Wanneroo, Lake Joondalup on Scenic Drive is a known risk area and the City has installed warning signage to raise awareness. 

If you are concerned about aggressive magpies in your area, please contact the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ wildlife helpline on 9474 9055 or the City of Wanneroo's Conservation Team on 9405 5000.

More articles in the news archive.