Injuries from this swooping behaviour are rare as the goal of the bird is to chase off the threat whilst protecting itself from undue risk and injury. Little can be done to prevent this behaviour. Below are some helpful hints:-
* Get to know where the magpies are breeding in your area and avoid that area
* Open areas with tall trees are likely sites to encounter magpies
* Use an umbrella, wear a hat, draw eye's on the back of your hat (birds are less likely to swoop while you are watching them) or use a stick above your head to deter attacks
* If riding a bike, get off and walk through the breeding spot
* If you are swooped by a magpie, don't panic or run. Simply place your hands over your head and keep walking
* Don't provoke the magpie
Magpies are native species and are protected throughout NSW. It is against the law to kill magpies, or harm or capture them or remove the eggs from the nest. If you feel a magpie is a serious menace, it should be reported to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (Forster Office 6591 0300) or if near a dangerous area eg school a Council officer can conduct a risk assessment and may take any action that the officer considers appropriate.