Magpies are characteristic of the Australian urban environment. Magpies breed in spring (August - November) which may also result in them swooping people or pets to defend the territory around their nesting site.
Magpies and the Law
Magpies are protected throughout NSW, and it is against the law to kill the birds, collect their eggs, or harm their young.
If you feel a magpie is a serious menace, report it to Council on 02 4645 4000.
Reduce your chances of being swooped
You can take the following precautions during the period when birds are actively protecting their territory:
- do not deliberately provoke or harass the birds as this can make them more aggressive
- walk out of the bird's territory immediately
- avoid the swooping area by taking an alternative route
- wear a large, wide brim hat and sunglasses or carry an open umbrella. You can also place eyes on the back of hats and umbrellas which may reduce the likelihood of the birds swooping
- keep an eye on the bird as this may discourage attacks.
Tips for bike riders
- If possible, take an alternative route
- Get off your bike and walk through the bird’s territory
- Wear a helmet and sunglasses
- Fit a bike flag to your bike.
In response to community concern, Council has prepared an Australian White Ibis Management Plans for Lake Mandurama, Ambarvale and Eagle Vale Pond, Eagle Vale. The plans aims to manage site-specific impacts associated with Australian White Ibis by providing comprehensive and clear guidelines for on-site management of the species.
Learn more on our Australian White Ibis information page.
Do not go near the snake but from a safe distance monitor its movement so you can advise of its location when assistance arrives. Do not threaten, disturb, annoy or throw anything at the snake.
For details on snake removal please refer to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website.
Bees swarm when they feel overcrowded. It is a natural occurrence.
A swarm occurs when the queen bee, accompanied by several thousand worker bees leaves the nest (wild) or beehive and searches for a new home.
Upon leaving the nest or hive, the swarm will often only travel a short distance (up to 100m) and gather on a nearby tree branch, house eave or other handy structure while scout bees travel further afield to locate a permanent site.
Found a swarm?
If you have a bee swarm in your backyard or local area please do not try and kill or interfere with the bees - you are likely to anger the bees and you may be stung. The bees will not harm you if they are left alone.
Remember the important role bees play in the fertilisation of agricultural crops, such as many of our nuts, fruit and vegetables.
During the warmer months (late August to early April) bees are at their most active. Swarming can occur during this time as bee populations increase dramatically, causing overcrowding within a bee colony. A swarm occurs when the queen bee, accompanied by several thousand worker bees leaves the nest (wild) or beehive and searches for a new home, this is a natural occurrence.
Upon leaving the nest or hive, the swarm will form a cluster on a tree branch or other handy structures while scout bees travel further afield searching for a more permanent site. If you have a bee swarm in your backyard or local area, please do not try and kill or interfere with the bees. The bees will not harm you if they are left alone. The best course of action is to call a beekeeper who will come and collect them.
Contacting a beekeeper
The Amateur Beekeepers Association of NSW (ABA NSW) provides a searchable system of beekeepers that perform swarm collections.
Many amateur beekeepers will collect swarms in their local area as a community service. The beekeeper will need to know the exact location of the swarm, its size and how long it has been there. They will need to be able to get a beebox to the swarm and may leave the box there for a day or two. They will probably collect the bee box at night. Remember to check to see if they charge any fee to cover expenses.
To locate your local Beekeeper visit the Amateur Beekeepers Association NSW website and enter your postcode.
Keeping honey bees in your backyard
Beekeeping is not only an enjoyable hobby, it is very rewarding. You and your bees play a vital role in the pollination of agricultural crops, like fruits and vegetables, which is critical to global food security, as well as producing honey and beeswax.
Some points need to be considered in relation to backyard beekeeping:
- Legal requirements
- The number of hives
- Water source for the bees
- Location and positioning of the hive/s
- Bee diseases
- When to handle your bees
- When to re-queen
In NSW, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) have rules and regulations around the keeping of European Honey Bees (Apis melifera). All NSW beekeepers must be registered with the NSW DPI and adhere to the rules and regulations put in place. This is a requirement legislated under the Biosecurity Act 2015.
For more information on the rules and regulations, registration as a beekeeper, and the Biosecurity Act 2015
You can also find out more about the requirements for Keeping bees in residential areas.
BeeAware is also a hub of information for beekeepers and growers about honey bee biosecurity and pollination of agricultural and horticultural crops.
Interested in becoming a beekeeper?
If you are interested in beekeeping it is highly likely that you have already done some research into what it is, and what you need to do. The local amateur beekeepers club, the Macarthur Beekeepers Association Inc (MBA), can provide you with information on what is required to become a beekeeper in NSW, as well as information on looking after your bees and hands on experience working with bees via their field days.
Macarthur Beekeepers Association Inc is affiliated with the Amateur Beekeepers Association NSW (ABA NSW).