Swooping Birds

magpie plover butcherbirdMagpie and Masked Lapwing (Plover) pairs breed in spring (August – October) and their natural behaviour is to protect the territory around their nesting site. This may result in birds swooping either people, pets or other animals. Only some birds see people as a threat and most will not swoop you. Swooping occurs for six to eight weeks, commencing when the adult pair is nesting and concluding when the young leave the nest. Swooping birds are displaying natural behaviour that is temporary and only occurs within the breeding season.

To reduce your chances of being swooped:

  • Avoid the nest site and use an alternate route if possible;
  • Do not deliberately provoke or harass the birds as this may make them more aggressive;
  • Walk calmly through the area - DON’T RUN;
  • Protect your head with a large, wide brim hat or carry an open umbrella; you can place eyes on the back of hats and umbrellas which may reduce the likelihood of the bird swooping;
  • Wear glasses to protect your eyes;
  • Keep an eye on the bird as they are less likely to swoop if you look at them; and
  • Bike riders - dismount from your bike and walk through the bird’s territory and try fitting a bike flag to your bike or attaching cable ties/fake eyes to the back of your helmet.

If you feel a swooping bird has become a danger to people, it can be reported to the landowner, nearest National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) office (4580 2750) or Camden Council (4654 7777). NPWS and Camden Council can install warning signs to alert members of the public to swooping birds.

Magpies and Plovers are protected by the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and harming these native birds and/or their nests is illegal. Native birds have their place in the Australian ecosystem and it is important that we live with wildlife so we can co-exist without endangering the conservation of native animals. 

For further information view the following documents: 

Current Swooping Bird Reports in the Camden Local Government Area

This dataset records reviewed reports made to Camden Council of swooping birds within the Camden Local Government Area for the current year. 

Disclaimer: While care has been taken to create and compile this dataset, Camden Council does not warrant, represent or guarantee that it is accurate, complete, current, suitable or available. To the extent permitted by law, Camden Council excludes all liability, including any liability for negligence or otherwise, for any loss or damage arising from reliance on, or use of, material in this dataset.

For further information, call Camden Council’s Sustainability Team on (02) 13 CAMDEN (13 226 336)