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Nesting season arrives for native birdlife

27 August, 2020Posted in: Environment
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Magpie, canstockphoto©

Springtime may herald new blooms and blossoms but for much of our native birdlife it also signals the start of nesting season.

During nesting season, parent birds will often exhibit protective behaviour to shield their nest and hatchlings.

Both magpies and plovers can become more aggressive than usual as their new season young hatch.

Surviving the swooping season needn’t be a nightmare says Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Environmental Projects Officer Patrick Tegart.

“Swooping, rushing and screeching are natural behaviours for many of our native birds including ducks, plovers and magpies when springtime rolls around,” he said.  “Like any protective parent the birds are just trying to shield their young from perceived threats to the nest.”

“And unfortunately, during nesting season the birds see us humans and our pets as threats.”

Nesting season takes place during the spring months with swooping attacks typically peaking during September.

“Our advice is that the behaviour is only temporary and will cease once the chicks have flown the nest.”

“In the interim we recommend a few simple tips to help avoid their airborne raids.”

These include:

  • not deliberately provoking or harassing the birds,
  • giving parent birds a wide berth,
  • taking alternative routes where possible,
  • keeping an eye on birds to discourage attack,
  • wearing a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses or carrying an open umbrella for protection,
  • if cycling, get off your bike and walk through any magpie zones, and
  • wearing a helmet, sunglasses and fitting a bright flag to your bike.

“The best advice by far is to avoid any known hot-spots”, Patrick added.

All native species, including magpies, plovers and ducks are protected throughout NSW, and it is an offence to kill the birds, collect their eggs or harm their young.

Birds considered a potential risk to public safety can be reported to Council on phone 4868 0888.

For more information visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/magpies.