9 October 2020 · MGM News

MGM's Survival Guide for magpie swooping season

Hero Image

Magpie Swooping Season is officially upon us!

According to the Magpie Alert Interactive Map, there have been at least 636 attacks and 56 injuries across Australia so far in 2020, with Queensland bearing most of the brunt. Springtime is baby time, which means it’s also protect-your-chick time for magpie mums and dads across Brisbane.

MGM's guide to surviving the feathered torpedo

Did you Know - Most of the swoopers are male magpies defending their eggs and chicks, which are in the nest for about six to eight weeks between July and November.

πŸ‘‰ 1) Don’t fight back if a magpie swoops. Throwing things or shouting at a magpie are likely to make it more aggressive next time anyone else enters the territory around their nest.

πŸ‘‰2) Wear a hat (broad-brimmed is best) and sunglasses or take shelter under an umbrella.

πŸ‘‰ 3) Make a hat out of an ice cream container. If the magpie swoops, it hits the plastic and (hopefully) does less damage

πŸ‘‰ 4) You could also try drawing or sticking or sewing ‘eyes’ on the top or back of your hat.

πŸ‘‰ 5) Get to know where the local magpie nests are and avoid these routes during the breeding season.

πŸ‘‰ 6) Travel in groups, as swooping birds usually only target individuals

πŸ‘‰ 7) Waving sticks or umbrellas in the air can help scare the magpie away.

πŸ‘‰ 8) Walk quickly but do not run. Put your folded arms above your head to protect your head and eye area.

πŸ‘‰ 9) f you have magpies in your garden, perhaps the most appealing way of avoiding attacks is to become their fury friend. Given that magpies have long memories, a few judicious offerings of mince or similar tidbits throughout the year can help you befriend them, making them much more amenable to your presence come spring.

πŸ‘‰ 10) If you know of an area that has swooping magpies, put a sign up to warn passers-by and your community.


Keep track of recent attacks around Brisbane, as well as record your own on Magpie Alert- Australia's social website to track aggressive swooping magpies in your area.