Eastern View Hooded Plovers fledge and fly away

Fabulous news. Two endangered Hooded Plover chicks have survived the danger period and fledged (taken to the skies).

The eggs and the flightless chicks had to last around 60 days without being trampled or eaten – not an easy feat for birds that nest on one of our busiest beaches in peak season!

Hoodie Chicks Eastern View
Too cute! The little chicks in their ‘flightless’ stage.

Its a great achievement by GORCC staff – especially our Conservation team, BirdLife Australia and local volunteers.  Together, we pulled out all the stops to  make sure these little cuties survived.

To make things difficult, the nest was in a dog zone so volunteers and Georgie Beale (GORCC Conservation Officer) put a massive amount of work into meeting and educating dog walkers.

This is the first time in three years that Hooded Plover chicks have fledged on our coast – a great effort by all.

Learn more about Hooded Plovers and how to get involved in their protection here.

Baby Hoodies on the Beach!

Two endangered Hooded Plover chicks have hatched at Eastern View and are striving to survive.

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Conservation (GORCC) Officer Georgie Beale is urging all beachgoers to keep dogs on a leash, adhere to all signs, stay away from fenced nesting areas and enter the beach via designated pathways.

“Three precious chicks hatched last week and two are now thriving whilst one unfortunately died due to unknown circumstances.

“Unfortunately, the breeding habits of ‘hoodies’ put them at risk.

“The birds do not build nests, they breed during the busy summer season and any disturbance from people or animals drives the adult birds away from their chicks,” she said.

The two remaining Hoodies at Eastern View.
The two remaining Hoodies at Eastern View are striving to survive. PHOTO: Georgina Beale

GORCC has worked with volunteers and Birdlife Australia to rope off the nest area and install signs to ensure the chicks are protected.

Ms. Beale commended the volunteers, Birdlife Australia and the community for their enthusiasm and cooperation in helping to protect the chicks.

“The volunteers have also done a fantastic job in monitoring the chicks since they hatched.”

“Dog owners have been very cooperative and we have received a lot of support from beachgoers who stop to have a look,” she said.

An information session was held at the site over the long weekend to inform the public about the chick’s arrival and the importance of protecting them.

A telescope was set up on the site to give community members chance to view the Hoodies from a distance.

Despite the arrival of these precious new locals, the Hooded Plover is still very much endangered.  The species is already extinct in Queensland and northern New South Wales and in November 2010 there were only 569 adult birds left in Victoria.

For more information on the Hooded Plover, visit: www.gorcc.com.au

Related blogs:

photo-22Conference for hoodie conservation
km-entanglement-4_mg_7092Volunteer saves injured hoodie
p91904411Hoodie monitors go hi-tech
hooded-plover-photo-taken-by-dean-ingwersen2An update on our little Hoodies
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11492_hooded-plover-chicks-pt-roadnight1Protecting our endangered locals

Hoodies prepare for special arrival

Beachgoers are urged to aid in the protection of the endangered Hooded Plover as the annual breeding season kicks off and a local pair gets ready to lay eggs.

The pair sighted on a beach near Anglesea has made a scrape (a simple depression in the sand used by the birds for nesting).

Hooded plovers, like this one seen at Point Roadknight, are in the midst of breeding season. Photo: GEOFF GATES.
Hooded plovers, like this one seen at Point Roadknight, are in the midst of breeding season. Photo: GEOFF GATES.

BirdLife Australia Beach-nesting Birds Project Officer Renee Mead said the scrape signals that the pair is close to laying their eggs.

 “There have been no reports of eggs or chicks along the Surf Coast as yet, but pairs are starting to claim their breeding territories.

Eggs have been reported on Thirteenth Beach on the Bellarine Peninsula and we expect the Surf Coast ‘Hoodies’ to have eggs any day now,” Ms Mead said.

The beach nesting birds typically breed from August to April each year and are very vulnerable to a range of predators and other threats, including accidental trampling by humans.

“We urge beach users to walk close to the waters’ edge and avoid the upper beach and dunes.

“This reduces the chance of eggs being crushed or chicks being accidentally stepped on,” Ms Mead said.

Hooded Plover volunteers gather around BirdLife Australia officers to learn about the different threats Hoodies face at the Mornington Peninsula. Photo: GEOFF GATES.
Hooded Plover volunteers gather around BirdLife Australia officers to learn about the different threats Hoodies face at the Mornington Peninsula. Photo: GEOFF GATES.

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Conservation Officer Georgie Beale said beach users could help by looking for and heeding advisory signs installed along the coast.

“You can help protect the ‘Hoodies’ by ensuring that your dog is always on a leash on beaches where they have been sighted, by observing all signs and accessing the beach via defined paths,” she said.

With breeding season underway, more volunteers are required to aid in the protection of ‘Hoodies’ along the coast.

BirdLife Australia are holding a workshop 16 October at Queenscliff Primary School, Stokes St Queenscliff for anyone interested in becoming a  volunteer ‘Hoodie’ monitor.

“The workshop aims to recruit new volunteers and also to prepare new information and activities for current volunteers.

“The day will give us a chance to chat with all the project participants before a (hopefully) busy breeding season.

“The event is an opportunity to discuss ‘Hoodie’ monitoring, public education campaigns, events and future directions for local management,” Ms Mead said.

Fore more information contact BirdLife Australia on 9347 0757 or email  renee.mead@birdlife.org.au.

This article featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column on 3 October 2013.

Related blogs:

photo-22Conference for hoodie conservation
km-entanglement-4_mg_7092Volunteer saves injured hoodie
p91904411Hoodie monitors go hi-tech
hooded-plover-photo-taken-by-dean-ingwersen2An update on our little Hoodies
releasing-a-bird-at-pt-roadknight-after-capturing-and-banding-it-georgie-beale-gorcc-mike-weston-deakin-uni-glen-ewers-birds-australia-taken-by-grainne-maguire Precious babies on our beaches
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Conference for hoodie conservation

Current and future strategies for the protection of the endangered Hooded Plover were discussed at the Third National Beach Nesting Birds conference this month.

The BirdLife Australia beach nesting birds team (L-R) Renee Mead, Meg Cullen and Grainne Maguire.
The BirdLife Australia beach nesting birds team (L-R) Renee Mead, Meg Cullen and Grainne Maguire.

BirdLife Australia’s national conference attracted 150 attendees over two days and was held on 14 and 15 June in Queenscliff.

BirdLife Australia’s beach nesting birds program manager Grainne Maguire said the event featured a range of new speakers and provided inspiration and new ideas to volunteers and land managers.

“We covered a whole range of topics ranging from research to new methods for protecting the birds and an overview on how the program has progressed over time.

“This included insights into the birds’ movements and life histories which have been revealed through our banding activities.

“We also discussed the importance of the Mornington Peninsula National Park for the birds, dog access policies, coastal geomorphology and how weeds can lead to erosion problems.”

Ms Maguire said it was the best meeting to date because there was an interesting mix of attendees.

“Virtual communication is great to a limited degree but there is nothing better than getting together face-to-face,” she said.

Kai Barrett wearing a Hooded Plover mask at the conference.
Kai Barrett wearing a Hooded Plover mask at the conference.

Guests at the conference included a range of representatives from the Surf Coast including the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) conservation officer Georgie Beale.

Hooded Plovers are endangered in Victoria and GORCC works closely with BirdLife Australia and volunteers to ensure their survival on our local beaches.

Ms Beale said dog owners and walkers can help to protect the “hoodies” by ensuring dogs are on leashes and avoiding dog prohibited refuge sites.

“Hooded Plovers are an important indicator of the health of our beaches and everyone in the community can play a role in saving them from extinction.

“Observe the signs and fenced areas and stay well away from any ‘hoodies’ you seen on the beach.”

Ms Maguire said even a single sighting reported by a volunteer hoodie monitor can sometimes provide an important missing piece of the puzzle.

“This program gives people hope about what can be achieved in this world when everyone gets together on an issue. We are bringing these birds back from the brink of extinction and at the same time making sure our irreplaceable coasts aren’t damaged beyond repair. It’s awesome!”

To learn more about Hooded Plovers or to become a volunteer monitor contact BirdLife Australia hoodedplover@birdlife.org.au, or to help fund BirdLife Australia’s vital work visit www.savethebirds.org.au/.

This article appeared in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column.

Related blogs:

km-entanglement-4_mg_7092Volunteer saves injured hoodie
p91904411Hoodie monitors go hi-tech
hooded-plover-photo-taken-by-dean-ingwersen2 An update on our little hoodies
releasing-a-bird-at-pt-roadknight-after-capturing-and-banding-it-georgie-beale-gorcc-mike-weston-deakin-uni-glen-ewers-birds-australia-taken-by-grainne-maguirePrecious babies on our beaches
11492_hooded-plover-chicks-pt-roadnight1 Protecting our endangered locals

Volunteer saves injured Hoodie

A Hooded Plover’s life has been saved thanks to the quick thinking of a dedicated volunteer and the assistance of Birdlife Australia and a local vet.

Hooded Plover KM gets treated for its injuries.
Hooded Plover KM gets treated for its injuries.

The bird, known as ‘KM’, was found with severe injuries near Point Roadknight recently with a yellow fibre cutting of circulation to its leg.

Volunteer Hooded Plover Monitor Geoff Gates noticed the bird was limping between a flock of about six other plovers.

“I knew the bird’s leg was swollen and had something constricting the blood flow to the foot and I thought the most probable cause was fishing line,” he said.

Birdlife Australia Beach-nesting Birds Program Manager Grainne Maguire said she carefully separated the bird from its flock and local vet, Liz Brown, was called in to assist.

“Liz used a pair of fine scissors and carefully removed the fibre which was twisted and embedded around the ankle.

“She applied anti-fungal cream on the wound and gave the bird a shot of antibiotics,” she said.

Local vet, Liz Brown, removes the yellow fibre caught around KM's leg.
Local vet, Liz Brown, removes the yellow fibre caught around KM’s leg.

“Two volunteers have since reported KM is moving about normally and seems to be doing well but we’ll be monitoring the wound closely over the coming month to ensure there’s no infection and that it’s healing properly.”

Litter, including fishing line, poses danger to beach nesting birds and other coastal and marine wildlife and beachgoers are being urged to do their bit and keep our coast clean.

“The main way we can minimize entanglements is to ensure we bin our litter, especially fishing line,” Ms Maguire said.

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Conservation Officer Georgina Beale said some of the dead seals and birds that wash up on the coast have swallowed or been strangled by plastic bags, fishing line, bits of nets and other rubbish.

“Please use the bins located in grassed foreshore areas and adjacent to sand areas to dispose of litter,” she said.

Hooded Plovers are endangered in Victoria and are vulnerable to a wide range of threats including a range of predators.

You can help to ensure their survival by getting hands on and becoming a volunteer monitor.

Volunteer monitors log sightings, track the movements of individual birds and follow their breeding progress over the season, logging information into the My Hoodie Data Portal.

“The portal is being used by several hundred volunteers and we have over 2000 sightings in it so far,” Ms Maguire said.

To learn more about the Hooded Plover monitor, email hoodedplover@birdlife.org.au.

This story featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column.

KM's banded leg entangled in the unknown yellow fibre.
KM’s banded leg entangled in the unknown yellow fibre.

Find out more about volunteering along the coast on GORCC’s website.

Find out more about protecting our endangered Hooded Plovers on the GORCC website, or read the related blog posts below.

Related blog posts:

p91904411Hoodie monitors go hi-tech
hooded-plover-photo-taken-by-dean-ingwersen2An update on our little ‘Hoodies’
1 Precious babies on our beaches
11492_hooded-plover-chicks-pt-roadnight1Protecting our endangered locals

Hoodie monitors go hi-tech

GORCC Conservation Team members and Birdlife Australia Grainne Maguire join Hooded Plover Monitor volunteers at a training day in Pt Roadknight.

Birdlife Australia held an informative Hooded Plover Monitor training day at Point Roadknight last week helping volunteers  to utilise a new online data portal.

The portal is an efficient way of collecting data and will assist regional groups and volunteers to monitor Hooded Plover pairs.

Hooded Plovers breed during the busiest time of year on our coast, between September and March each year and are classed as a threatened species.  ‘Hoodies’ nest on our beaches, making them very vulnerable to a range of predators and other threats, including accidental trampling by humans.

GORCC Conservation Officer Georgina Beale who attended the event, said the training day assisted participants to learn how to use the new online portal and understand its benefits.

“The portal is environmentally friendly in its ability to reduce paper trail as volunteers can record their hours and notes online,” she said.

Birdlife Australia researcher Grainne Maguire measuring Pt Roadknight Hoodie.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Ehmke.

Birdlife Australia Word about the Hood  May 2012 newsletter reported that the online data portal also has the capacity to:

  • Shortlist pairs that need checking (i.e. have not been checked for over a fortnight);
  • See which pairs currently have eggs and chicks (and so better estimating important dates to visit);
  • Set alerts for new nests or chick sites that need urgent management put in place and;
  • See the current state of play for all the birds at once.

For further information on the online data portal and becoming a volunteer visit the Birdlife Australia website.

More information on Hooded Plovers can be found here. 

Related blog posts:

An update on our little ‘Hoodies’

 

Precious babies on our beaches
 

Protecting our endangered locals

An update on our little ‘Hoodies’

Image
Hooded Plover photo taken by Dean Ingwersen

Hooded Plover chicks face many threats including feral animals, dogs and accidental trampling by beachgoers.

Mr. Bodsworth said GORCC has erected bigger signs in the no dog zone in an effort to get coastal users to do the right thing.

“The area is fenced, but unfortunately there has been continual issues with some people not adhering to the regulations and signs in place,” he said.

It’s important we all look out for ‘Hoodies’ along the coast to ensure chicks such as those at Point Roadknight are protected from threats.

Want more information?

More on Hooded Plovers click here

Volunteering with Birdlife Australia click  here.

Read an article about Hooded Plovers which appeared in the Surf Coast Times here.

Here’s something to think about.

Have you seen the Hooded Plovers at Point Roadknight or spotted any other ‘Hoodies’ on the coast?

Are you interested in volunteering to help protect the ‘Hoodies’?

We’d love to hear about your experiences with our little ‘Hoodies’.