Swooping birds

Australia Magpie

During spring dive-bombing birds begin swooping people to protect their nests during breeding season.

While swooping birds can be alarming, not all birds display this behaviour. Head to the Wildlife Victoria website to easily identify swooping birds.

Top tips to protect yourself against swooping birds:

  • Know your local swooping hotspots by keeping informed about parks, schoolyards and bike trails in your local area
  • Avoid areas where the birds are likely to be breeding. If you must go through the area, move quickly, but do not run
  • Be alert in areas where there are tall eucalypts as they like to nest in these trees
  • Keep an eye on any magpies you come across as they are less likely to swoop if you look at them
  • Draw eyes on the back of a hat or wear your sunglasses backward to give the impression you're looking at them
  • Carry an open umbrella or small branch over your head but don't swing it at the birds as it may provoke further attacks
  • If you're riding a bike, jump off it and wheel it through the area where the birds are swooping
  • Do not harass wildlife, throw stones at birds, destroy nests or feed swooping birds 
  • Consider travelling in a group in areas where there are swooping birds 
  • Notify others by putting up warning signs or report aggressive birds at:

All Victorian native wildlife is protected by law, and it is illegal to harass or harm native birds and other wildlife without authorisation.