Hooded Plovers - A Threatened Bird
Hooded Plovers are protected wildlife under State and Federal legislation. There is estimated 550 Hooded Plovers surviving along the entire Victorian coastline, with resident pairs living along Ocean Grove and 13th beaches.
Hooded Plover breeding season is known to commence from August and ends around April the following year when the last chicks have fledged. Breeding pairs can have multiple broods, so it is important to keep on the lookout for these birds from August to April.
Hooded Plovers make a scrape in the sand along the beach to lay their eggs. This exposes the eggs to trampling from humans, dogs or predation by birds, foxes or cats. Know sites may have temporary signage warning beach users that they are entering a Hooded Plover nest site. We ask for your assistance to comply with the requests on the signs, and engage with and learn more from the Friends of the Hooded Plovers Bellarine that may be on site providing added protection to these threatened birds.
Over eight years, BirdLife Australia volunteers belonging to Friends of the Hooded Plover Bellarine and Breamlea have put in hundreds of hours per season to monitor the birds along this coastline, find their nests, assist with erecting protective signage and fencing around the nests, and wardening the sites after hatching to chat to beach users and raise awareness about these incredibly vulnerable birds. They have found over 130 nests, and worked hard to assist the birds to produce between two and four chicks a season. This may sound low, but is one of the highest breeding rates for any region, and is a true reflection of the efforts extended by the group.
Through the commitment, and tireless efforts of the Friends group, the 2013/14 Hooded Plover breeding season resulted with a fledgling at 8W Ocean Grove; the first fledgling for this area in over 25 years. The group received special mention at the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards 2014 for their efforts.
For more information BirdLife Australia.