International Plover Appreciation Day celebrated on Kangaroo Island

A hooded plover with chicks. Photo: Glenn Ehmke
A hooded plover with chicks. Photo: Glenn Ehmke

Hooded plover lovers on Kangaroo Island this Monday, September 16 are shining a spotlight on these beloved birds who share our beaches as part of International Plover Appreciation Day.

International Plover Appreciation Day is aimed at raising awareness of the plight of ground-nesting plovers around the world, including all around Kangaroo Island, where plovers nest each year.

"Many plover species including the hooded plover on the Kangaroo Island are highly threatened because they nest in some of our favourite areas to relax and enjoy being outside," said BirdLife Australia beach-nesting expert Grainne Maguire.

"When many people think of plovers they think of the masked lapwings, which nest on grassy areas - they are the birds that might swoop you at the local footy oval.

"Hooded plovers are one of Australia's priority threatened species and lay their eggs directly on beaches during spring each year, with both mum and dad plovers working together to raise chicks.

"Both species are just trying to protect their young.

"Meanwhile migratory bird species are due to return from their marathon flight from breeding grounds in Siberia. When they land they need to spend long periods feeding undisturbed so they can replenish their energy in time to make the trip back.

"We can help these birds raise their families or get ready for their return migrations by taking care when we are sharing space with them.

"That includes keeping dogs on leads and keeping out of areas when the birds are nesting."

A previous count by BirdLife Australia published in 2014 indicates hooded plovers (blue dots) are found around Kangaroo Island.

A previous count by BirdLife Australia published in 2014 indicates hooded plovers (blue dots) are found around Kangaroo Island.

The national Hooded Plover population census will take place on later this year, as part of the biennial beach-nesting birds count

Local volunteers will be out again that weekend on Kangaroo Island beaches recording every hooded plover seen.

BirdLife Australia is hoping more people can get to #KnowYourPlover

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