There are no two ways about it: it’s magpie swooping season. The one time of the year when you wish you had a pair of eyes in the back of your head so you could see when those cranky winged bastards were coming for you at top speed because you dared step too close to their nest. (This is why my Year 4 teacher Mr Clark wore his sunnies of the back of his head.)
But thankfully, for those of us who live in Melbourne and just want to be able to get out for our state-sanctioned two hours of exercise or recreation per day, a statewide Swoop Map is here for your reference.
Oh good, the city looks like it’s absolutely heaving with swoopy birdos.
Pulled together by the Wildlife Victoria team, the whole map relies a lot on community entries, which helps keep the map updated for where the humble-yet-chaotic magpie and other swooping birds have built their nest for the current baby season.
It also means that just about every logged entry has some incredibly harrowing swooping stories like these:
But don’t think the rest of country isn’t being looked after because the very-well-resourced MagpieAlert map is up and running again this year and it’s also keeping count of how many incidents and injuries have been sustained by magpie parents and other swooping birds in 2022. As of September 28 we’re up to 2259 attacks (!!!!!!) and 285 injuries nationwide. And they’re just the logged ones…
And just because we’ve been conditioned to think it’s only the magpie that gets in on the action, doesn’t mean they’re alone in it – the site also reminds everyone that there are multiple native birds that are guilty of the ol’ swoop.
So keep your eye out for wattlebirds, butcher birds and kookaburras, who are also very partial to a defensive attack if you’re a bit too close to their little meepers.
So be safe out there folks, it might be bloody lovely and enough to get the gams out for a bike ride, run, or leisurely stroll in the sun, but be alert and aware for these cranky buggers who can and will flap at you at top speed.