Spring has sprung and September is upon us! And with it, the return of Magpie season!

Grainne Cleary, author of Your Backyard Birds, told The Herald Sun that spring is the start of Magpie mating season.

“While the female is nesting or sitting on her eggs, it’s the male’s job to protect the area and make sure she doesn’t get hurt or isn’t in danger, so they’ll swoop,” Ms Cleary said.

“But when they swoop it’s actually the last of several warnings the magpie is giving you.”

“You will be walking along and the magpie will give his ­little warning, which we often ­ignore, and he will give ­another warning like ‘danger, don’t come too close’ and, of course, we ignore it and that’s when we come too close,” she said.

“That’s when the magpie will start swooping.”

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has released a list of hints to help us avoid the terrifying swoop.

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HOW TO AVOID BEING ATTACKED:

■ Know your local swooping hotspots

■ Avoid the area

■ Move quickly, but don’t run

■ Cover your head

■ Eyes at the back of your head. Draw a pair of “eyes” and attach to the back of hats and helmets.

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■ Do not harass wildlife

■ Do not destroy nests

■ Don’t feed swooping birds

■ Travel in a group

■ Notify others

WSFM 101.7 Sydney