Hooded Plovers - East Beach, Port Fairy

Published on 05 January 2017

Hooded Plover image by JJ Harrison

Hooded Plovers, a small shy, non-aggressive beach-nesting bird are currently raising chicks on East Beach, Port Fairy. Disturbance by people is a major threat to these birds. 

Although camouflaged in the sand, adult Hooded Plovers are easy to recognise. They have pink legs, a black head, with grey upper white underparts. The nape (the area at the back of the neck) is white.

It’s not an easy feat for a bird that lays its eggs in a scrape on the beach and then must lead its tiny camouflaged chicks down to the water's edge to feed for the five weeks until they can fly. Chicks can move up to one kilometre along the beach to feed.

Hooded Plovers are a rarity along the Victorian coast and they are protected under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The penalty for the interference or destruction of nest sites is a fine of up to $7,780.

With the busy summer season at Port Fairy, Hooded Plover’s face some of their greatest dangers from human activities, particularly off-leash domestic dogs.

You can help the protect Hooded Plover chicks by:

  • Acknowledging the temporary signs erected near the nesting sites;
  • Avoiding approaching the temporarily erected Hooded Plover enclosure;
  • Staying out of the dunes; and
  • Keeping your dog on a lead (Even if your dog is well behaved, Hooded Plovers view them as a threat when they come close to their nests).

Dogs are restricted on some parts of East Beach, Port Fairy over the summer period. More details can be found on this page