Redlands City Council environmental spokesperson Cr Paul Gleeson has reminded residents that the scent of flowers isn’t the only thing in the air.
The warmer weather of Spring also heralds the beginning of nesting season, and swooping behaviour for magpies, plovers and butcherbirds.
Cr Gleeson has urged Redlands residents to remember that while a magpie or plover attack can be frightening, there are some simple do’s and don’ts to follow that’ll keep you out of trouble.
“Magpies and plovers aren’t bag guys,” Cr Gleeson says, “rather highly protective parents looking after their young. They play a crucial role in the local ecosystem.
“People should not retaliate with sticks or by waving objects as this can make adult birds even more aggressive.
“The IndigiScapes website has a link to a map where you can view known bird swooping sites or add new ones. The best thing to do is avoid areas where birds are swooping during the eight-week period that a nest is being defended, which may be as simple as walking on the other side of the road.
“Other ways that you can be safe from swooping birds include wearing a hat and sunglasses or holding your bag or an open umbrella over your head if entering the nesting area.
“Cyclists should add spikes to their helmets and a flag to their bike. They should also dismount from their bike when in a nesting area as speeding up only increases the intensity of the swooping.”
Avoid picking up young birds if you see them on the ground, because even if you can’t see the parents, they will be close by. They will think you’re taking their baby, and become more protective — i.e. more swoop-happy — next time they have young.
To access the Redlands magpie map, and for more info on magpies and swooping birds, visit indigiscapes.redland.qld.gov.au/Animals/Magpies/Pages.