Hooded Plover

To: "Darryl Morgan" <>
Subject: Hooded Plover
From: "Val Ford" <>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 10:50:31 +1100
Hi Darryl
> Thanks Val for the invaluable info regarding the behaviour of the parent
> Hooded Plover during incubation and the requirements of the hatchling
> during the first 5 days.  It makes me less inclined now to observe and
> photograph these birds. 
This is always a problem with making the decision whether or not to put uptemporary beach closure signs. If all members of the public come up to read the sign then hang around [or even worse ignore the sign] then it is best not to put up a sign.
>I was watching these birds and I noticed even
> at what I thought was a safe distance (20M) they had the typical head
> bob behaviour that they were nervous and uneasy.  As for the Red-capped
> Plover, I've photographed these birds before and have had them approach
> me at a distance of 4M.  So they're very nervy in comparison.
Not more nervy in comparison when they are not nesting.  However if you saw the HPs doing a typical head bob [they don't head bob all the time] they most likely had chicks on the beach.  And if they did 4 metres is far too close to be to them as they send the chicks to ground which means that the chicks don't feed and don't get brooded.
I find that the 'safe distance' for Hooded Plovers with chicks varies quite a lot.   When I am checking for chicks I sometimes have to move so far away that I have trouble observing even with binoculars - they won't let their chicks move around until they have decided it is safe to do so.
> Well what other people that I've spoken to have observed Red-capped
> Plover (female) displaying an act of being injured and leading the
> person away from the nest.  Is that what the Hooded Plover does as well? 
This is one of the displays that the Hooded Plover uses but usually as a last resort [I have observed them doing it to try to distract a Nankeen Kestrel].  Their preferred distraction display is running along the beach ahead of you.
> Hopefully if they were incubating eggs yesterday that they weren't left
> for too long.  What is the ideal temperature for incubation?  It wasn't
> an overly hot day yesterday, so they might be ok.
I'll  look up Michael Weston's PhD thesis "The effect of disturbance on the breeding biology of Hooded Plovers" and get back to you. 

> "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."
> That's funny I went down pretty much to every beach yesterday, including
> Koonya.  I managed to get myself lost on the paths going back to Spray
> Point Rd, so I didn't bother going to Montfort.
> Out of all the beaches I saw on the backbeach side I thought these
> looked the most ideal. 
They are the very ideal however they are very very popular with the public!!
> The beach that I found them was actually in Point Nepean right at the
> tip on the foreshore, near Cattle Jetty.  Their area seemed to be from
> Cattle Jetty all the way to The Bend.
There has been a pair on that beach for some years now and like the other HPs in the park their nesting success rate is terrible.
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