27 July 2022
Spring may still be weeks away, but the region’s swooping birds are already active.
Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Councillor Russell Milligan said Ipswich City Council’s successful Aggressive Native Bird program has provided increased community safety and better outcomes for our native birds.
“Magpies, plovers, butcherbirds, kookaburras, crows, currawongs and peewees are the birds here in Ipswich most likely to exhibit swooping behaviours as they protect their eggs and young between July and November,” Cr Milligan said.
“Since council’s Aggressive Native Bird program was reviewed in 2019, council has seen a 360 per cent increase on service requests regarding swooping birds.
“However, due to the successful delivery of the program, council saw cost savings per request despite this increase.
“Council uses a range of mitigation approaches including signage, education programs and, in extreme circumstances, bird assessment and potential relocation by a suitable qualified fauna consultant.”
If you need to enter a defence zone and are swooped, refrain from yelling or throwing anything as this may harm the birds and may provoke more aggression from the bird at the time of the incident, and more vicious attacks in the future.
All native animals are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and harming these native birds is against the law.
Here are a few practical tips to help keep you safe this swooping season:
Cr Milligan said Ipswich’s diverse environment relies on all bird species and native animals for its health.
“All native animals including magpies and plovers play a vital role in our ecosystem health, including feeding on many insects such as midges and mosquitoes,” Cr Milligan said.
“Education is key to understanding these birds’ role in our environment and how to keep safe during their breeding season, so we can all live together.”
Council will continue to work with our community to manage the risks from aggressive native birds on council-owned land.
To report a swooping bird call council on 3810 6666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For concerns regarding swooping birds on private property, call the Queensland Department of Environment and Science on 13 QGOV (13 74 68) for advice, or engage a private fauna consultant for relocation services.