Swooping season flies in early this year

WATCH OUT: Swooping season has already started and people are advised to protect their heads and eyes.

WATCH OUT: Swooping season has already started and people are advised to protect their heads and eyes.

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The Department of Environment and Primary Industries is advising you to watch your head, as swooping season is flying in.

DEPI senior wildlife officer Brady Childs said one person had been swooped by a magpie and two people had been swooped by Masked Lapwing in Bendigo recently.

He said people should accept that swooping was a normal part of breeding behaviour, and reminded people not to harm the birds.

"As the weather starts to warm up birds start breeding and we want people to be aware of swooping birds," he said.

"If you do end up in an area where there is a swooping bird, try to protect your head and eyes and move quickly through the area.

"They are swooping to defend their eggs and young and if they perceive you to be a potential threat, they may swoop.

"We share our environment with native birds and people must remember not to harm them because they are protected under the Wildlife Act."

Mr Childs said if people were swooped, they should visit the DEPI website and report their ordeal, so others knew to avoid the area.

He said birds didn't swoop all year round and pedestrians may have to make a small adjustment to their usual route over the next few weeks.

He said birds usually swooped in spring time, but had started swooping earlier this year.

And, contrary to Alfred Hitchcock's nightmarish vision of crazed peckers stabbing people's eyes out, Mr Childs said the reality of swooping birds was somewhat different.

"Most of the time the birds won't make contact, although there have been rare occasions when they have," Mr Childs said. 

“It’s just a natural behaviour of birds to protect their young.” 

If you are swooped by a bird, go to the DEPI website - www.depi.vic.gov.au - and report it.

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