Released 30/08/2018

With spring just around the corner, Canberrans are urged to be aware of magpie swooping season.

“As the weather becomes warmer, magpies are beginning to build their nests and raise their young in areas around Canberra,” said Director of ACT Parks and Conservation Service Daniel Iglesias.

“A majority of magpies will not be prone to swooping, however if a magpie feels threatened by an intruder, swooping is a defensive method for them to protect their young. Magpies are quite intelligent and will remember colours and noises which they associate with danger.

“If a magpie feels threatened, its instinct will be to swoop the intruder. When people harass magpies, it encourages increasingly aggressive behaviour,” said Mr Iglesias.

People can follow simple precautions to help avoid being swooped:

  • walk quickly through magpie territory, but don’t run
  • take alternate routes if possible
  • wear hats, helmets, glasses or take an umbrellas
  • keep domestic animals on leash while in magpie territory
  • maintain eye contact with the magpie
  • walk bikes through magpie territory.

“Magpies are a valuable part of our native wildlife. By following some simple precautions we can live in harmony with them,” Mr Iglesias said.

If there is a territorial magpie in your neighbourhood, contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81. Rangers can determine whether warning signs need to be installed.

For more information on living with magpies visit

- Statement ends -

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