Published on 21 December 2021

Help our hoodies

Beachgoers are being urged to look for Hooded Plover signs and follow directions of volunteers and council rangers avoid accidentally harming or disturbing the threatened beach nesting birds.

Hooded Plover chicks are very well camouflaged to help protect them from predators, but this—and the fact they sit still when frightened—means they can easily be stepped on.

When the adults are disturbed by humans, dogs and vehicles, their chicks are left without protection, and are more likely to get taken by a predator such as a seagull or kestrel.

Hooded Plover signs and fencing may be moved or updated throughout each day to keep up with the tide and the birds’ movements.

Beachgoers are urged to check the beach you’re visiting for signs and updates, and leash your dog when walking past any breeding areas to give them space to raise their family in peace.

There has been a flurry of breeding activity on most of Onkaparinga’s beaches in recent weeks, with some Hooded Plover pairs sitting on eggs, and two other nests (at Port Willunga and Maslin Beach) with chicks, which are trying to feed along the edge of the water.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t all been good news, with a two-week-old chick at Silver Sands disappearing yesterday, perhaps taken by a kestrel that has been seen in the area.

Onkaparinga’s famous Port Willunga pair, Harvey and Daphne (which the public helped name in 2019) also lost three chicks last week. The pair are likely to try to nest again though, so beachgoers are asked to give them some space.

Hooded Plovers are nationally listed as 'Vulnerable' under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, which means the species is at risk of becoming extinct if they can't continue to successfully breed on our beaches.

If you would like to learn more about Hooded Plovers, visit the Green Adelaide and BirdLife websites.

Please note: the accompanying photos have been taken by trained volunteers using a telephoto lens (the image has also been heavily cropped), ensuring the birds aren’t disturbed.


Top: A one-day-old chick at Aldinga Beach. Photo: Kerri Bartley
Bottom: Just-hatched chicks at Port Willunga two weeks ago. Photo: Sue and Ash Read

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A hooded plover chick stands on the sand at Aldinga Beach.