The Hooded Plover is found along the southern coast of Australia, from Tasmania, though Victoria, South Australia and southern Western Australia. Its preferred habitat is sandy beaches where there is plenty of seaweed and there are nearby rocky outcrops, reefs and sand dunes. In some parts it can be found at salt lakes some distance inland in SA and WA. It lays its 2 or 3 eggs in a shallow scrape in the beach sand during the months of September to January.
The Hooded Plover is an endangered species. On the Fleurieu Peninsula near where I live there are fewer than 75 left, according the warning sign near the beach at Victor Harbor (see below). On a visit to Victor Harbor some years ago I was walking along this beach watching over about 60 primary school children on an end of year school camp. Trying to keep so many little feet away from the nest with two eggs took a major effort, but the birds patrolling the beach nearby were not too disturbed. Why they chose one of the busiest beaches in South Australia to lay their eggs is a mystery to me! I hope they survived.
The bird in the photo above was not taken at the beach. It was of a bird in an aviary at Adelaide Zoo where the keepers have cleverly recreated a small sandy beach to imitate its natural habitat.
i saw my first hooded plover (and chick!) on a beach in Bridport in Tasmaina in December!
Tasmania is the stronghold of this species. Only a few days ago I saw one on the beach at Victor Harbor south of Adelaide and managed a few nice photos too – though I haven’t written about that here on this site yet.
Just thought we would let you know we saw 2 Hoodies on the beach at Victor Harbor yesterday (Sunday 21st August) and took some good photographs. We have place one of the pics at http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/383069/ppuser/67227 if you are interested.
Thanks for visiting and leaving your comments. I had an email last week from the administrative officer at the VH Hospital saying that a pair had recently nested on the hospital heliport. The above photos were used in their volunteer newsletter last week.