Pair of plovers seen in Brighton at the start of the breeding season

Two new Hooded Plover birds have been spotted on South Brighton beach, prompting the installation of fencing and signage along the sand between Oleander St West and Shoreham Road.

Pedestrians can still access all paths leading to the beach, but please be aware of the fenced area and keep dogs on a leash at all times near the breeding area.

Plovers were spotted making a nest, called a scrape, on the beach earlier this week, marking the start of the endangered shorebird’s breeding season.

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.

This is why it is important to have dogs on a leash within 100 meters of the marked breeding area so that the birds are not startled.

Once the chicks hatch, they don’t grow above a 50 cent coin and must find their own food near the shore.

They are also flightless until about five weeks old, which is another reason dogs should be leashed and alert when roaming near Hooded Plover areas.

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

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

  • Keep your dog on a leash at the beach, especially in spring and summer
  • Only walk under high tide during nesting season
  • Pay attention to signs and fences indicating that there is a nest or chicks on the beach
  • Walk away quietly when you see a Carrion Plover
  • Spread the word about beach nesting birds

There are believed to be fewer than 70 Hooded Plovers in Adelaide and the Fleurieu Peninsula and it is estimated that there are only 500-800 statewide.

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