Magpie season brings out the zip tie fashion statement
  • Saturday 12 July 2014

Zip tied helmets are all the rage again as the magpie breeding season returns.

From now through to early December, male magpies become overprotective parents and may swoop passing pedestrians, cyclists and the occasional unlucky postie.

A magpie swoop zone extends only about 100m from their nest tree, although this area can extend for cyclists.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said unlike our teenage children, magpies left the nest about six weeks after hatching and it was during this period their parents were most protective.

“I ask residents to be patient and compassionate with breeding birds during this time,” Cr McKay said.

“There are some simple steps to avoid being swooped by a magpie including avoiding known magpie areas, wearing hats and helmets, using an umbrella, dismounting bikes and maintaining eye contact with the bird.

“If you are being swooped by a particularly aggressive magpie at home or on private property, private contractors can be contacted for assistance.”

Council officers are not authorised to capture or relocate overly-aggressive magpies.

Complaints regarding swooping birds on council land will be assessed and a decision made regarding monitoring the site, erecting signs to warn pedestrians or engaging a licensed private wildlife contractor.

Inquiries regarding magpies or reports of swooping magpies on private land should be referred to the Department of Environment and Resource Management.