Magpie swooping can pose a real threat to our pets. While we can’t wish the problem from existence, we can take steps to understand why Magpies swoop. Whether we’re walking them ourselves, or entrusting them to a Dog Walker, we can keep our furry friends safe. Here’s how to protect our precious pets from Magpie swooping!
Why is Magpie swooping a thing?
Most of the year, Magpies are completely harmless. For six weeks whilst their young are in the nest, though, Magpies can be extremely defensive and territorial. Not all Magpies swoop – in fact, most will show no interest in you. However, the ones that do are doing so to protect their young. A word of warning: researchers believe that Magpies have been known to remember an “enemy” and swoop them for a lifetime, which can span up to 25 years. In other words, don’t veer too close to magpie nests unless you want a decades-long feud with a winged creature.
Protecting your pets from Magpie swooping
It’s not just humans that Magpies see as a threat to their young. It’s for this reason that dogs and cats can also attract their wrath. To protect your pets as much as possible:
- Make sure dogs are on-leash when walking through a Magpie’s territory
- Be aware of the areas that have Magpies swooping and avoid them if possible. You can check a map of reported swoopings here
- Don’t leave pet food in the yard. Doing so can attract Magpies to the area – which can prompt your pets to defend their food
- This may seem obvious, but we’ll say it anyway: don’t let your dog or cat attack Magpies. After escaping an attack, a Magpie will certainly see your pet as a threat. The result? The bird will be MUCH more likely to swoop
Do you know another way to protect your pet against bird swooping? Share in the comments below!