ON THE LOOKOUT: Reuben and Brooke Roberts want their family to be safe from attacking magpies at Appleton Park in Yeppoon.
ON THE LOOKOUT: Reuben and Brooke Roberts want their family to be safe from attacking magpies at Appleton Park in Yeppoon. Trish Bowman

Father’s plea for council to swoop in and remove magpie

WHEN Reuben Roberts takes his three young sons to Appleton Park to ride their bikes, he expects it to be a safe environment.

But this magpie season has caused some problems in the area, which has raised concerns with Mr Roberts and other parents.

"In this case there is a very aggressive magpie swooping and contacting the children's helmets, which I can foresee a scared child getting injured from if they fall or take a peck to the ear, eye or head," he said last week.

The Yeppoon father said he contacted Livingstone Shire Council to see if the bird could be removed.

"The response from the council was they can't do anything, so I emailed them again saying I was unhappy with the response, to which they said they would erect signs and lodge that with council parks department."

Mr Roberts said a sign wouldn't be of much use and he would be happy to pay for the bird to be relocated.

"Their response was they will offload to council's park department and they will contact me, which they haven't," he said.

"Now, four weeks on, we revisit this park and there is a laminated warning of magpies but still no fix for the magpie that attacks the children's helmets.

"In one of my emails to council, I discussed the duty of care that council has to ensure safety, which I don't believe they are by erecting a laminated sign, when they could remove the nest and relocate the bird."

Livingstone Shire Council acting chief executive Brett Bacon said the council did not have a magpie removal program.

"Responsibility for managing or removing magpies rests with the State Government's Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, which issues permits for persons to remove and relocate magpies and removal will only be undertaken in extenuating situations that meet certain criteria," Mr Bacon said.

Magpie attacks can be reported to the council and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

If the council is made aware of a problem spot, it can take action to assist the public, such as erecting warning signage.

Mr Bacon said the number of reports of concerning magpie behaviour was not in excess of those received in previous breeding seasons.

Signage has been placed in known problem areas, which include cnr of Queen St and Anzac Pde, Normanby St outside Family Practice and Old Backhouse area, Apple ton Park and cnr of Taranganba Rd/Ivey West St.

Swooping by magpies is a defensive behaviour during breeding season, which can last up to six weeks.

For more on magpies visit http://www.livingstone.qld.gov.au/ 783/Magpies.



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