Spring is about to arrive - and alongside what is the favourite season for many - the magpies.

With their intense devotion to protecting their nests and young, magpies are often feared or perceived to be an annoyance at this time of year.

And sometimes we forget that magpies are a unique part of living in Australia and that their intricate and melodic song and busy social activities are a source of relaxation and entertainment.

In the intervening time, however, living in harmony with magpies in spring can be easily achieved by taking some simple precautions.

Nelson Burand-Hicks, Sustainability Officer at Muswellbrook Shire Council, explains:

“The magpie’s territorial behaviour relates to it sometimes seeing us as a threat to its nesting success. The best way to alleviate this threat is to keep the magpie at peace. Not disturbing or harassing the birds is key and taking a temporary alternate route when walking or riding causes less stress to people and the magpies alike.”

If residents are in areas of magpie activity, they are reminded to keep their safety a priority. Wearing a wide brim hat and sunglasses while walking, or wearing a helmet, sunglasses and fitting a bike flag to your bike while riding is advised.

“As with every year, this territorial period will pass, and we will be rewarded with watching new magpie families enjoying the urban and natural areas in our community. Keep clear of territorial magpies as much as possible and they will keep clear of you.”

Magpies are protected throughout NSW and it is illegal or harm or kill magpies or their young. Particularly territorial magpies should be reported to Muswellbrook Shire Council on 6549 3700.

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