Swoop on tips to avoid swooping birds!

Residents should attempt to avoid areas where birds have recently swooped, Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, has said.

Cr Atmaca today released information on how local people could avoid being swooped by a bird in the coming weeks.

“The breeding season has commenced for birds and usually lasts until well into November, and Council has been made aware of a number of swooping incidents,” Cr Atmaca said.

“Birds fly down at people because they want to protect their eggs and offspring, and it can be very scary for anyone who is targeted.

“Magpies are the most common swooping birds, and can dive down for three to four weeks until their young have developed.

“While many residents feel intimidated when birds swoop, it is important that people do not harm the birds and consider how they can stay out of the way.”

Hume City Council regularly installs signs in areas where birds have swooped, to alert anyone who passes by.

Cr Atmaca said adults and children who could not avoid a particular area should consider a number of precautions.

“It’s a good idea to wear a hat and sunglasses so that your head and eyes are protected from a bird’s beak and wings,” he said.

“Carry an umbrella above your head to deter the bird from getting too close.

“People who move very fast through an area can appear more of a threat to a bird, so slow down.

“It may prove useful for cyclists to dismount from their bike and keep their helmet on as they travel through an area where a bird has dived down.

“If you know other people in the area, try to walk through the swooping zone in a group so that you’re not isolated.”

People who notice a dangerous bird should not destroy its nest because the animal will likely rebuild and extend the length of its nesting season.

Most swooping birds are native and it is illegal to hurt these birds or damage their nests.

Residents are also discouraged from feeding swooping birds, since this is bad for their health, and could motivate the birds to stay close to people and paths.

Cr Atmaca called on everyone to notify Hume City Council of any swooping bird.

“Council officers act quickly to investigate all reports of birds that have acted aggressively,” he said.

“It’s vital to remember that birds only swoop because they want to protect their offspring and give young birds a chance to grow and fly.

“Hume is home to many wonderful species of birds, and Council is keen to nurture our wildlife in a manner that protects the safety of everyone.”

To report swooping birds, call Hume City Council on 03 9205 2200.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 28 September 2015

Updated : 9:47 AM, 28 September 2015

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