Magpie swooping season is here. There’s nothing we can do to change it but we can take steps to understand why they swoop and what we can do to protect our precious pets!
Why do they swoop?
Most of the year, Magpies are completely harmless but for six weeks whilst their young are in the nest, Magpies can be extremely defensive and territorial. Not all Magpies swoop – most will show no interest in you – but 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 be up to 25 years!
It’s not just humans that Magpies see as a threat to their young, dogs and cats are also often attacked. To protect your pets as much as possible:
- Make sure dogs are leashed when walking through a Magpie territory
- Be aware of the areas that have known swooping Magpies and avoid them if possible. You can check a map of reporting swoopings here
- Do not leave pet food in the yard to avoid attracting Magpies to the area
- Do not let your dog or cat attack Magpies as this will certainly make them see your pet as a threat and will make the bird much more likely to swoop!
Do you know another way to protect your pet against swooping? Share in the comments below!