Be alert, but not alarmed - it's swooping season

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Many native birds, such as magpies and masked lapwings (also known as spur-winged plovers), swoop to protect their eggs and young during breeding season.

Breeding season has begun and is expected to continue until the middle of November.

Residents are advised to take extra precautions when outdoors during this period, as swooping birds can be present in urban and rural areas.

There are a few things that residents can do to minimise the risk of being swooped, including:

  • Avoiding nesting areas where birds are swooping if possible;
  • Protecting head and eyes; and
  • Moving through the area quickly. 

While swooping birds can be alarming, the behaviour is confined to approximately 10 per cent of birds and it’s rare for a bird to cause an injury.

Each breeding pair will also normally only swoop for four to six weeks until the chicks can fly.

To report a swooping bird on City-managed land, please contact us on 03 5272 5272.

The behaviour of the bird will be assessed and, if appropriate, warning signs will be placed at the site.

The Victorian Swooping Bird Map shows hot spots where people have been swooped during the current or previous breeding season.

All native birds are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975, so please do not harm or scare swooping birds or interfere with their nests.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 17 August 2021