PROTECTION: Elizabeth Kuruilaca using a pencil case to protect herself from swooping magpies in Dalby.
PROTECTION: Elizabeth Kuruilaca using a pencil case to protect herself from swooping magpies in Dalby. Michael Doyle

Residents brace for new swooping season

SWOOPING season is upon Dalby residents, as walkers and cyclists attempt to avoid magpie areas.

Last year's season was a harsh one, especially for students, with staff at one school claiming multiple pupils had been attacked.

Our Lady of the Southern Cross staff member Elizabeth Kuruilaca said she had been warning her students about the dangers of swooping season.

"Last year we had a terrible problem with magpies at the college,” she said. "We had a number of students swooped.”

Ms Kuruilaca said magpies were fixated on attacking the eyes of their targets, and said she was recommending to her students to make sure they could protect their faces.

"I will be advising anyone who is walking or cycling during swooping season to make sure their heads and eyes are protected,” she said.

Council is also advising residents take any precautions they can to avoid unwanted encounters over the next few months.

Councillor Andrew Smith said avoiding known magpie nesting areas was the best course of action to stay clear of confrontation.

"Once an area has been identified, we can place signage in these areas to warn pedestrians, so they can choose to take another route.

"The ultimate advice I can give is to just be patient, magpies are only trying to be good parents.”

Other tips include wearing sunglasses and a hat, carrying an umbrella and attaching cable-ties to bike helmets.



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