BUSSELTON toddler Jed Trevenen was having a great time at the Old Broadwater Farm children’s playground, until a magpie swooped and pierced his skin.
Jed’s mother Jade Trevenen was metres away when the magpie attacked, she said it was frightening and started sprinting towards her son to stop the bird from swooping.
Ms Trevenen wanted to warn other parents about the incident.
“This magpie came down and swooped Jed, from the time I started sprinting towards him it came down about three times and must have got Jed with its claws,” she said.
“The magpie was relentless, I think I will stick to the beach now that the weather has fined up.”
The Department of Parks and Wildlife officer Karen Smith said they had received an increased number of reports about aggressive magpies.
Ms Smith said the best way to avoid being swooped was to find an alternative route around their breeding sites for the six to eight weeks when magpies defended their nests.
She said tall trees provided the perfect nesting environment and that magpies generally nested between August and October.
“The urge to protect their eggs and young is very strong,”she said.
“Male magpies are territorial and may swoop at people if they think their nest or offspring are being threatened, but they are only doing what comes naturally to them.
Ms Smith said magpies could swoop anyone they perceived to be a threat and clack their beak as they passed overhead.
“Although this can be alarming, if you confidently continue on your way, the bird will often retreat to a tree and watch until you leave its territory,” she said.
“We also encourage people to protect themselves by wearing a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses to conceal their face and eyes.”
If a magpie poses a serious safety risk to people, a dangerous fauna licence may be issued to destroy the bird.
Have your say: What are your tips to avoid being swooped by a magpie? Email email@example.com.