Duck for cover, it's swooping season.
Springtime may herald new blooms and blossoms but for much of our native birdlife it also signals the start of nesting season.
Magpies in particular can become more aggressive than usual as their new season young hatch.
However surviving the magpie swooping season need not be a nightmare according to Wingecarribee Shire Council's coordinator natural resource projects Ian Perkins.
"Swooping is a natural behavior for many of our native birds like plovers and magpies when springtime rolls around," he said.
"Like any protective parent the birds are just trying to shield their young from perceived threats to the nest.
"And unfortunately during nesting season the birds see us humans as threats."
Nesting season takes place during the spring months with swooping attacks typically peaking during the month of September.
"September is also the month we field the most calls from residents," Mr Perkins said.
"Our advice is that the behavior is only temporary and will cease once the chicks have 'flown the nest'.
"In the interim we recommend a few simple tips to help avoid their airborne raids."
These steps include:
- Not deliberately provoking or harassing the birds,
- Taking alternate routes where possible,
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses or carry an open umbrella for protection,
- If riding a bike wear a helmet and sunglasses, and
- Fit a flag to your bike.
"But by far the best advice we can suggest is to avoid known hot-spots," Mr Perkins said.
"Outside of the breeding season, magpies are friendly and welcome neighbours. They help control pests in our gardens and their familiar, iconic call is a much-loved sound of the Australian bush."
Magpies are protected throughout NSW and it is an offence to kill the birds, collect their eggs or harm their young.
Birds considered a potential risk to public safety can be reported to council on phone 4868 0888.
Visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/magpies for more information.