A number of Australian native bird species are territorial. Some species, such as magpies, butcherbirds and masked lapwings (plovers), establish and protect a territory during the breeding season. They may act aggressively to deter other birds or animals, domestic pets and even people, because they see them as a threat to their nests and chicks.
These seasonal behaviours, often during spring, can be intimidating. Although most birds only swoop and call loudly, a few birds may come into contact with people in an attempt to deter a threat. There are a number of things people can do to prevent possible injury in these circumstances.
This policy guides staff to:
- provide practical advice and support for members of the public, to help them avoid aggressive bird encounters and deal with these encounters when they occur
- determine when a bird is considered a risk to public safety, and understand differing roles and responsibilities of staff on Department of Planning, Industry and Environment-managed lands and on land managed by other people
- develop and implement education and awareness strategies to build positive community attitudes to living with native birds
- promote partnerships with other organisations such as local councils, which also help with these matters, and improve management of these issues
- maintain an ongoing record of responses to wildlife management, including incidents with aggressive birds, as a basis for monitoring and evaluation.
Photo: Australian magpie pair (Cracticus tibicen) / John Turbill/OEH