Hooded Plover season begins Newly installed signage at Ochre Cove this month. Photo: Sue and Ash Read. A pair of Hoodies in the Aldinga Washpool creek outlet catching some rays. Photo: Kerri Bartley
19 August 2020

Hooded Plover season begins

A long-term pair of Hooded Plovers have laid eggs at their favourite spot at Ochre Cove, officially ringing in the breeding season in the City of Onkaparinga.

Not to be outdone, another pair have laid eggs at Moana Sands this week, with the parents spotted taking turns to incubate the three eggs!

Each year from August to March, the beach-nesting birds lay eggs at sites across Onkaparinga and attempt to raise chicks.

Unfortunately, chicks have a low chance of survival because they can’t fly for the first five weeks; become easily frightened by human and off-leash dog activity and are susceptible to a range of predators.

The long-term Ochre Cove pair successfully raised two fledglings (birds that learned to fly) last year from four nesting attempts, contributing to a successful breeding season on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

There were 17 fledged chicks in the region last year, including three fledglings in Onkaparinga (from 28 chicks hatched across 18 nests), which was a great improvement on the previous year when there were no fledged chicks across Onkaparinga’s beaches.

You can do your part to protect the Hoodies while they’re breeding by giving them plenty of room so they don’t get disturbed, following the temporary beach restrictions through fencing and signage, and keeping your dogs on a leash.

Hooded Plover volunteers regularly check the beaches, raise awareness and identify when and where the birds are nesting.

When a nest is identified, City of Onkaparinga’s Parks and Natural Resources team works with project partners from Green Adelaide (through funding from the Landscapes Levy), the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and BirdLife Australia to follow guidelines that have proven to improve breeding success.

Stay tuned to Onkaparinga Now and the City of Onkaparinga Facebook page for updates on the Hoodies’ progress this season, including that of our long-term lovebirds, Harvey and Daphne, which our residents helped name last year!

If you’d like to learn more about helping Hooded Plovers or would like to become a Hoodie volunteer, Green Adelaide and the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board are hosting two free information sessions on Saturday 29 August (at Maslin Beach) and Sunday 20 September (at Moana).

Together we can help these beautiful beach-nesting birds thrive.

Hello hoodies!

The long-term pair of Plovers with a newly fledged chick at Ochre Cove last year. Photo: Sue and Ash Read

Heed the signs

Newly installed signage at Ochre Cove this month. Photo: Sue and Ash Read.

Another sighting

A pair of Hoodies in the Aldinga Washpool creek outlet catching some rays. Photo: Kerri Bartley

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