Hooded Plovers are shy little wading birds that live along the quieter sandy ocean beaches between Breamlea and Barwon Heads. It is distinguished from other small wading birds by its black hood and throat, and white collar. It can be seen in pairs or small groups foraging at the water’s edge for insects and crabs. It nests directly in the sand or sparsely vegetated spinifex dunes, close to its food supply. It lays two to three pale stone eggs with dark blotches.
The breeding season from Spring to Summer co-incides with increased disturbance from people and dogs. This, combined with the changes to the dune environment, and natural losses from predators such as seagulls and kestrels, and tidal impacts, means they are now threatened with extinction.
Size: 19-23cm Conservation status: V= V, FFG= L
First photo: Trevor Pescott. Second photo: Mark Trinham. Illustration: Mark Trinham