Magpies can become very aggressive, especially during the breeding season that typically runs from July to November. This territorial behaviour can become a real nuisance if a group of magpies decides to take up residence in your garden. But what can you do to defend yourself against problem magpies and how can your local commercial pest control firm help you?
Why magpies attack
Magpies are extremely territorial during the breeding season, and male birds can become very aggressive towards any creature that trespasses on their patch, including humans. This behaviour is particularly noticeable when there are eggs or chicks on the magpie's nest.
Once the eggs have hatched and the chicks are active, male birds will swoop down and attack anyone who gets too close. Note here that retaliating and trying to drive the birds away will only make the problem worse.
The magpie's aggressive behaviour will only persist while the chicks are vulnerable, and once the young have fledged, the adult birds will show no interest in humans. Until the nest is empty, it's best to give the area defended by the magpie a very wide berth. A distance of about 100 metres or so is usually sufficient to avoid an attack if you're a pedestrian, but you should allow further if you're on a bike.
For some reason, magpies tend to be more aggressive towards cyclists so if possible, dismount and walk with your bike until you're out of the attack zone. If you have to stay on your bike, drawing large 'eyes' on the top of your helmet can be an effective deterrent, as can a few cable ties attached to the top of it to form spikes.
If you have no option but to pass near to the aggressive bird's territory, it's recommended that you protect your eyes and head from attack by wearing sunglasses or goggles and a hat.
Removing problem magpies
Some commercial pest control firms are authorised by the government to remove and relocate problem magpies to a new site well away from human population. Male magpies will be humanely trapped and taken away from your premises, although you will have to pay a small fee for this service.
If you have a colony of magpies on your property and they become a nuisance through aggressive behaviour, keep safe by following the tips given above and contact your local pest control services contractor to see if they're able to relocate the birds.