|To:||"Darryl Morgan" <>, <>|
|From:||"Val Ford" <>|
|Date:||Sun, 15 Jan 2006 07:38:40 +1100|
The Hooded Plovers start breeding on the ocean beaches of the Point Nepean National Park at the end of August and continue to do so until the end of March.
The HP you observed going up into the dunes would have been either attempting to lay ["making a crater"] or incubating ["would then sit there, until it was disturbed by people walking past"].
"It would then sit there, until it was disturbed by people walking past".
Disturbance - humans, dogs or whatever - is the biggest problem for the HPs. If the temperature of the eggs drops below or goes above certain temperature limits - serious problems. In fact you can see disturbed HPs being very reluctant to leave the nest on very cold days.
Of course their biggest challenge is when the chicks leave the nest within 24 hours of their synchronised hatching. Because they are unable to thermoregulate for the first 5 days they are very dependent on regular brooding by their parents - which of course doesn't happen when they are disturbed and the parents try to distract attention from the chicks. And of course if disturbed the chicks are unable to feed. Most chicks are lost within the first 5 days.
"Is the female behaviour similar to that of the Red-capped Plover when approaching it's nest? "
I haven't studied Red-capped Plover so am not sure what you mean.
What beach were you on? The Hooded Plovers I monitor, as part of the Friends of the Mornington Peninsula Hooded Plover group, are those on Koonya and Montfort beaches.
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