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Native birds, including Australian Magpies and plovers (Masked Lapwings), are highly protective of their eggs, nest and young and will often ‘swoop’ unsuspecting passers-by if they feel threatened.  Only a small percentage of birds attack during spring as a ‘warning’ to ward off intruders to their territory, which may include your local park, backyard or schoolyard.

However, for those who encounter this behaviour, it can be a frightening or even a dangerous experience.  The best strategy is to avoid swooping hotspots completely and not to try and scare, attack or remove the bird. Native birds are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is an offence to harass or destroy native birds or their eggs.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is encouraging residents to highlight ‘swooping hotspots’ in the local area on Victoria’s Magpie Map on the DEPI website. 

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