Swooping Season

Spring is officially here on Sunday (1st September). And with it (well, from late August) comes swooping season.

Magpies have already been spotted dive bombing unsuspecting cyclists and pedestrians in my local area. We have a new one this year, which means in the last 12 months some horrid human has been cruel to the magpie – they only start swooping after someone is nasty. It’s a learnt behaviour. That’s why not all magpie’s swoop.

Magpies at ANU (Australian National University) here in my home town of Canberra

I’ve been bombed more times than I care to count. It’s never fun – the sudden rush of feathers in the air, the clack of the beak and squawked warning. It usually is unexpected and comes out of no-where.

Magpies aren’t the only bird that attacks in Oz…plovers have been known to stop whole sports fields from being used (not helped by the fact they nest on the ground).

Have you ever been attacked by a bird?

11 comments on “Swooping Season

  1. Here in Canada, I’ve seen my dog ganged up on by grackles, for the same reason – protecting their young nearby. And last spring (our spring), there was a lot of news coverage of a red-winged blackbird terrorizing pedestrians in a neighbourhood in Toronto.
    Well, we keep taking over all their habitats after all…

    • I’ll forgive the grackles even if your dog might not because I’ve always loved the name grackle – I came across some when I holidayed in the US.

      But it is so true we are in their territory and leaving them less. Totally understandable.

  2. Giggling Fattie

    August 30, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    We have geese in Canada that are notorious for attacking people. I had to walk by a couple yesterday when I was walking to school, and out again as well. But they were happily eating away. Thankfully they’ll be heading south soon and the danger will go with them LOL

    I’ve been bitten by a swan before. I was feeding it grass and it snapped my fingers. But that’s the most “attacked” I’ve been. A friend I had when I was a teenager was dive-bombed by a seagull at the beach. That’s pretty common here as well. They wanted her french fries.

    • Hah, I love that the unfriendly ones will fly away for half a year. We don’t have any Aussie birds that leave, although we do get birds that come here for our summer – some from as far away as China!

      I love our swans (the Aussies ones are a sleek black) but they can be bitey if they are used to being fed. Same with the gulls.

  3. Oh my. I have never been dive-bombed. And happy for that. One reason NOT to visit Australia (but I have hundreds on the plus side).

    • I think our feathered, furred and finned creatures have a reputation for being a tad nasty, so I think that should just be a joint box in the cons list. Makes it easier to have a long pros list *grin*.

  4. Giggling Fattie

    August 31, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Ooooo black swans!! Awesome! 🦢

  5. Not dive bombed myself, but my school used to be home to trees with magpie nests and every spring the principal would warn people to stay away from the carpark during the day due to magpie dive bombing.

    And once, in Ballarat, I was in a car with a friend when a flock of swans came charging at us in hopes of being fed!

    • When I was at high school we had a pair nest in a huge pine tree. It only bombed the teachers! They had to walk around with umbrellas while we just carried on as usual.

  6. Yikes. Never a magpie (I don’t think we have them around here), but there’ve been some birds on the attack. Not to me personally. There was this hawk that lived in a tree at one of the schools. If anyone went by the tree… Unfortunately, it was located near a classroom. The teacher in that room took to carrying an umbrella that she would swing at the bird.

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