Swooping season for birds is upon us and walkers and cyclists are being reminded to beware.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is reminding locals that some bird species, including Australian magpies, have started to swoop people as part of their normal breeding behaviour.

Senior wildlife officer Gary Dash said magpie swoopings at locations across Victoria have been reported over the past few weeks.

“Being swooped by a territorial bird is no fun, but this is just normal bird behaviour and, if possible, the best response is to keep away from the area,” Mr Dash said.

“As the weather starts to warm up, birds start breeding and we want people to be aware of swooping birds.”

Native birds are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is illegal to harm them.

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

“Some of the places where people are most likely to be swooped are public spaces such as parks particularly where there are tall eucalypts.”

DELWP encourages people to notify others in their area about swooping birds. Report an incident by on Victoria’s Magpie Map here