This glorious map warns you of the ‘swoopy boy’ hotspots in your neighbourhood

This glorious map warns you of the ‘swoopy boy’ hotspots in your neighbourhood

Image by Beth Hope
Words by Tom Parker

Just in time for swooping season.

With swooping season now among us, a glorious map has popped up on the Victorian government website alerting peeps on the most tenacious swoopy boys in your neighbourhood.

The map extends statewide and is citizen run, meaning anyone who has their own personal swooping experience can plug their own swoopy boy on the map to alert others of the potential hazards in a particular area.

You can also include a little message describing your experience and some of the captions are hilarious. One person seemed particularly irritated: “Very fast birds swooping like madmen,” they said. “I couldn¿t [sic] out run them and they just got faster and more intense as the time went by. I lay down and they left me alone.”

While another was more matter-of-fact in their assessment: “Swoopy boy pulled a dive by TWICE, claws of an eagle. 10/10 would not recommend.”

While there is some humour to be pulled from such misfortunes, it’s also a very real issue as swooping birds can cause serious harm. It is illegal to harass or harm native birds without authorisation so if you get pecked on the head, we’d advice against channeling your outrage on the feathered friend.

The best way to avoid a swooping situation is to remove yourself from any potentially hazardous scenarios entirely. Be aware of the swooping-prone spots in your neighbourhood and tailor your daily walk, run or ride as a result.

Yet don’t be completely alarmed – not all magpies or other common swooping birds will swoop even if they are protecting their eggs or young. So don’t freak out if you see a magpie bouncing along peacefully next to the sidewalk on your next outing. For the most part, they are courteous animals that don’t mean to cause any harm.

Check out the map here. The CSIRO have also created a survival guide to help you prepare for any future scares.

Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.