Adelaide, We're In For A Bumper Magpie Season This Spring
It's the first day of spring!
The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing and the birds are swooping - which means it's your annual reminder to keep an eye out - or have an eye taken out - for those pesky magpies.
Especially because, according to the experts, we're in for an especially cranky bunch this year.
"Breeding is a bit later [this year] because it has been a wetter winter and [magpies] might be a bit slower in getting nests established," Adelaide University Associate Professor David Paton explained.
"[This means] the swooping season could go on a bit later.
"The worst is yet to come."
And while Professor Paton agrees that there aren't any "hotspots" per se, magpies are often swooping reoffenders and can attack in the same places as they have in the past.
The easily recognisable black-and-white birds are on the offensive for about six weeks - until their newly hatched chicks are old enough to fly themselves - and anything moving within a 50 m radius of their nest is at risk of a swooping.
"It is going to get worse," Dr Deb Kelly, SA Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources animal welfare manager, agreed. "But will get better about October.
"If you do need to go through those areas [with magpies in them], do so with caution.
"Wear a bike helmet, do not look at magpies... Do not wave your arms and scream because that makes you a threat and, therefore, they feel they need to protect their nest.
"Just look down, walk slowly and move out of their zone, and you'll be fine."
And failing that, of course, there's always that handy ice-cream container.
Happy spring, South Australia!
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