Aggressive magpie relocated from busy park
A MAGPIE which was aggressively attacking people in a Northern Rivers park has been relocated.
On Tuesday Lismore City Council announced it had has relocated a dangerous male magpie from Spinks Park which boarders a bowling club, a croquet club and the Country Women's Association tea-rooms, after numerous people reported head injuries from the bird.
The male magpie was very aggressive and had been observed attacking anyone who came near its territory, not just swooping but aggressively pecking people and putting children and others at risk.
Council's Environmental Strategies Coordinator Leonie Walsh said it was this combination of factors meant relocation was the only option.
She said recent research showed relocated magpies do not return and another male takes its place, caring for the young.
"We do not like to disturb birds from their territory and swooping people is normal magpie behaviour during nesting season," she said.
"We would not normally relocate a magpie, but the combination of very aggressive behaviour in a popular park visited by lots of children meant we had to make this decision".
Magpies can claim territory for up to 20 years and may become defensive and swoop people between July and November and only a small percentage of birds strike or swoop as a warning to ward off intruders.
She said Council will not take action to relocate a bird except in the most severe cases.
If you have concerns about a bird, phone Council on 1300 87 83 87.
. Avoid magpie nesting sites and plan alternative routes.
. Wear sun glasses and a broad-brimmed hat to protect your head and eyes.
. Carry an open umbrella.
. If a bird swoops while you are cycling dismount and walk.
. Some cyclists have success with attaching zip ties to their helmet.
. Do not approach, provoke or harass birds or interfere with nests
. If you are swooped, leave the area quickly but do not run.
. Watch the birds while walking away - it is less likely to swoop if it knows you're watching.
. Magpies appear to have very good memories and have been known to attack the same people over subsequent seasons while leaving others alone. If it's attacked you before it may be a good idea to use an alternative route - even next season.