Angry birds are stark raven mad

Magpies are not the only bird which swoops. Photo: Damjan Janevski

By Alesha Capone

It’s not just swooping magpies that you need to watch out for as the weather warms up.
Although magpies are famous for swooping people during their annual breeding season, when they see humans coming close to eggs or baby birds, they are not the only bird species which engages in this behavior.
Hoppers Crossing resident Kathy MacKendrick contacted Star Weekly last week to report “some very aggressive Australian ravens” in her suburb.
Ms MacKendrick said the swooping ravens were especially active in the Hoppers Crossing train station carpark, and along Pannam Drive and McKellar Avenue.
“Ravens can be heard cawing in very tall trees, on the tops of poles, and on powerlines – and are generally seen flying in pairs, according to my research,” she said.
“Ravens also tend to give a useful warning that they are about to swoop, with a long loud croaking ‘cawww’ on a descending note.
“I usually wear a sun visor and carry something in my hand to wave if I feel one is about to swoop on me, which seems successful.
“Others suggest wearing a cap or hat with two ‘eyes’ drawn on it, as apparently swooping birds don’t like being looked at.
“Experts warn not to try to beat them off, as they can become more aggressive, but to avoid being attacked by being watchful and listening for any warning calls.”
Ms MacKendrick said there was one tall tree on Pannam Drive, between Murdoch Street and Cumming Drive, where a particularly vigilant raven lived.
She said the raven often followed her along the footpath from around three metres back, and would stop walking if she did.
“When I’m at the floodway near the bus stop close to the corner of Cumming Drive, he stops following me,” she said.