Plover pair seen at Brighton as breeding season starts

Two new Hooded Plover birds have been spotted at the beach at South Brighton, prompting fencing and signage to be installed along the sand between Oleander St West and Shoreham Road.

Pedestrians can still access all paths to the beach but please be mindful of the fenced area and keep dogs on a lead at all times near the breeding zone.

The Plovers were spotted making a nest, called a scrape, on the beach earlier this week which is the start of the breeding season for the endangered shorebirds.

Once the eggs are laid, it takes 28 days for the chicks to hatch.

The parents each take turns sitting on the nest, but will leave if disturbed or threatened by dogs, humans, foxes or other predators.

That’s why it’s important to have dogs on a lead within 100 metres of the signposted breeding zone so the birds are not frightened away.

Once the chicks hatch, they are no larger than a 50 cent piece and have to find their own food by the shoreline.

They’re also unable to fly until they’re about five weeks old which is another reason to keep dogs on a lead and to be watchful when walking near the Hooded Plover zones.

If you see a Hooded Plover on the beach, the best thing to do is to keep your distance.

Green Adelaide has other tips for beachgoers to play their part in protecting the beach-nesting birds which are considered an endangered species.

  • Keep your dog on a leash when at the beach – especially during spring and summer
  • Only walk below the high tide mark during the nesting season
  • Look out for signs and fences, indicating there is a nest or chicks on the beach
  • Move away quietly when you see a Hooded Plover
  • Spread the word about the beach-nesting birds

There are reportedly less than 70 Hooded Plovers across Adelaide and the Fleurieu Peninsula and it is estimated that there are only 500 to 800 in the whole state.

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