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Eye and Ear warns to protect eyes from swooping birds

October 18, 2017

The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is warning people to protect their eyes from swooping birds following a number of presentations in recent days to the Eye and Ear’s Emergency Department with eye injuries from swooping birds.

Emergency Department Director Dr Carmel Crock has seen a notable increase in the number of presentations of eye injuries from birds over the past few days, including one penetrating eye injury requiring surgery.

"Being swooped by a bird is not just an unpleasant experience – they can cause real harm if they strike your eyes," Dr Crock said.

Dr Crock advises being careful around birds and following the recommendations from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to reduce the risk of injury.

DELWP Wildlife Officer Abby Smith says: "One way to reduce the risk of injury is to check Victoria’s ‘Magpie Map’ for local swooping hotspots so you can avoid these areas if possible."

The DELWP also provides advice on what to do if you do pass through a swooping bird’s territory which includes:

  • protect your head and eyes

  • carry a stick or umbrella above your head and;

  • move quickly, but do not run through the area.

To view the top tips and access the Magpie Map, visit: https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/managing-wildlife/swooping-birds


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