Australian Magpies

Australian Magpies are a familiar sight in Sutherland Shire. They are a medium-sized black and white bird with a curious personality and a cheerful, carolling song.

Magpies are protective of their young. For a few weeks in spring, when they are nesting, some birds become aggressive and swoop people, pets or other animals.

If possible, take an alternate route during this time.

In the event of persistently swooping birds, Council may install temporary signs warning pedestrians and cyclists to avoid the area.

What to do if a bird swoops

Walk away quickly. Do not stop.

Stay calm. Serious accidents can occur when people panic. If cycling, dismount and walk through the bird’s territory.

Other ways to protect yourself from swooping birds include:

  • wearing a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • holding an open umbrella or leafy branch above your head
  • keeping your eyes on the bird - they are less likely to swoop if you are watching them.

Council’s Swooping Birds Fact Sheet provides more information.

Magpies are a protected species in NSW and it is against the law to harm them or collect their eggs

If you believe a magpie is a serious menace, report it to Council or the nearest National Parks and Wildlife Services office.

Contact WIRES if you find an injured or sick native animal.