The Hooded Plover needs our help!
There are only 20 known breeding pairs of Hooded Plovers now left on the Fleurieu.
Also known as ‘Hoodies’ these small birds, listed as Vulnerable in SA, spend their entire lives on the beach and their chicks have one of the lowest survival rates of any bird in the world.
The Hooded Plover at-a-glance:
- Hoodies lay their eggs and raise their chicks during August to March
- 1-3 camouflaged eggs are laid in a simple shallow scrape in the sand on the upper beach between the high-tide mark and the base of the foredune, or on the dune itself
- parent birds need to sit on the nest for 28 days
- the eggs on the beach are at great risk of being crushed under foot or eaten by dogs and other predators
- if disturbed, the birds leave their nest and the eggs are adversely exposed to the hot sun or cold winds, either of which can prove fatal to the embryos
- if the eggs hatch, the tiny chicks are only the size of a 20c piece and are very vulnerable, their only defence being camouflage
- the chicks have to feed themselves from day 1 and need to get to the waters edge or around seaweed to forage for insects, sand hoppers and other small crustaceans
- the chicks can not fly until they are 5 weeks old so the beach, especially in the busy summer months, can be a very dangerous place for parents to raise their young
Help the Hooded Plovers to breed by keeping vehicles off the beach, putting your dog on a lead, walking by the waters edge and trying to avoid using the beach at the times of high tide. If you see posted signs or temporary fences protecting nests and chicks, please do not linger in the area.
To find out which beaches the Hoodies breed on visit: www.birdlife.org.au/beach
PLEASE KEEP DOGS ON A LEAD SO HOODIES CAN BREED!