RSPCA calls out kids for deliberately agitating magpies for TikTok content

The RSPCA has snapped back at people participating in a trend dangerous to wildlife.

Since the beginning of spring, magpies and other nesting birds have been out more than usual defending their young.

Victims of swooping birds have since taken to social media app TikTok to share their reactions to angry magpies, but some are taking it a little further than just warning others.

In South East Queensland, a group of local teenagers have posted videos to TikTok “terrorising” the distressed birds in order to make content for their followers.

A concerned resident told The Courier-Mail that she’d noticed kids participating in the trend filming the attacks.

“I have noticed a lot of teenagers riding their bikes and scooters under the trees where the magpies are swooping from,” she said.

“Mostly they are teenagers on their way to and from school and they are trying to film it for TikTok.

RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Emma Lagoon said deliberately agitating the birds would make them more aggressive.

“Some birds will instinctively protect their territory, nest, and young this time of year,” she said.

“While people may think it’s funny to film themselves annoying our wildlife or deliberately going into areas they know birds are swooping, antagonising birds or any other animal will only make them more aggressive towards you and put yourself at more risk of harm.

“It’s best to just leave them alone. Deliberately harming wildlife is also illegal.”

RSPCA Queensland’s top tips if there are swooping birds in your area:

• Avoid the nesting area if at all possible during the incubation and raising of the chicks.

• Take a slight detour if possible; most birds will only swoop within a 50m range of their nest.

• Walk quickly away from the area but do not run.

• Travel in a group; swooping birds generally target individuals.

• Wear a broadbrimmed hat or other headgear to eliminate the risk of injury during attacks.

• Paint eyes on the back of the headgear. The bird will think that it is being watched and will not swoop.

• Wear glasses to protect your eyes

• When on a bike, wear a helmet and/or have a flag attached to the rear of the bicycle when riding through an area where birds are swooping. Try hopping off your bike and walking it rather than riding quickly.

• Place warning signs outside of the swooping area to warn others. You can contact your Council for assistance.

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