DSE launches swoop map

AS reports of swooping birds step up, the Department of Sustainability and Environment has launched its Magpie Map for 2012 where people can report the location of swooping birds.

DSE wildlife officer Melanie Plummer said the best way to avoid the fright of being swooped by a bird is to avoid the area altogether and urged people to let others know where swooping birds were by using the online Magpie Map.

“People can enter the location themselves on the map or tweet us with the location of the swooping to @DSE_Vic on #swoopvic,” Ms Plummer said.

“While the best way to avoid being swooped is to avoid the area all together, this isn’t always possible,” she said.

“If you do end up in and area where there is a swooping bird, try and protect your head and eyes and move quickly through the area.

“For the less style conscious try sticking a set of eyes to the back of your helmet or hat, tie cable ties to the top of your helmet, put an icecream container on your head, or put a big wig on – this will make you seem bigger to the swooping bird and may scare them off. 

“What we don’t want you to do is try and scare or attack the bird — it is illegal to harm native wildlife and an aggressive response can make swooping behaviour worse.”

To notify DSE of a swooping bird or to get a handy anti-swoop toolkit go to www.dse.vic.gov.au/swoop