Help keep the allusive 'Hoodie' alive on our Victor Harbor beaches!
The Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis) is a small shorebird with a distinctive red beak, red-ringed eye and striking black hood and throat. Unfortunately, it is listed as vulnerable nationally, with fewer than 800 in South Australia and only 7000 in Australia.
‘Hoodies’, as they are affectionately known, lay their eggs directly on beaches during spring each year, with both mum and dad plovers working together to raise chicks.
Overlapping with our coastline’s busiest times of year, humans, dogs and vehicles are these bird’s biggest competition with nests disturbed, eggs broken and adult Hooded Plovers scared away from their young chicks.
The City of Victor Harbor, along with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Natural Resources and Birdlife Australia work together to erect signs and temporary fencing to manage the successful breeding of these tiny beach goers. This team approach in caring for nest sites is paying off, with hatching success almost doubling at sites where temporary signs and rope fences are put up to encourage leashing of dogs and to stop eggs being crushed.
The 2018/19 breeding season saw 33 recorded active nests on the Fleurieu Peninsula, with 11 chicks eventually fledging.
The Department for Environment and Water know of 27 Fleurieu Peninsula breeding pairs this season and have their fingers crossed for a successful breeding season.
As a community, we can keep our dogs leashed at all times on our beaches, particularly near the signed nesting sites; walk below the fenced areas, and watch quietly or move away when you see Hooded Plovers.