Hooded Plovers

About this page

The Hooded Plover (aka 'Hoodie') is a little Aussie beach-nesting shorebird that is battling to survive. In Victoria, Hooded Plovers are classed as a vulnerable species. In November 2010 there were only 569 adult birds in Victoria.

Breeding between September to March, Hoodies need all the help they can get to ensure the species survives.  Unfortunately, just 1 in 100 chicks survive all the way to 'fledging' (the point at which they can fly). 

Hoodie breeding habits put them in direct conflict with humans and animals because:

  • They don't build a nest - they lay their eggs on beaches above the high tide level
  • They breed during the busiest time of the year on the coast
  • Any disturbance from people or animals drives the adult birds away from their nests and chicks
  • The eggs are almost impossible to see, which makes them very easy to step on.
  • The chicks are tiny and extremely vulnerable on busy beaches.

Since 2006 GORCC has been working with BirdLife Australia and other partners (such as the Friends of the Hooded Plover Surf Coast volunteers) to protect the Surf Coast's known Hooded Plover breeding sites which include the Point Roadknight, Point Impossible, Moggs Creek and Fairhaven beaches.

Other sites have recently been identified, including Point Impossible and Fairhaven beaches.  Look out for the signs during the breeding season! 

How can I help?

By ensuring dogs are on the leash on beaches where the birds are found and by avoiding the dog prohibited refuge sites. You can also help by observing the signs and staying well away from any birds. 

Want to get more actively involved?  The Friends of the Hooded Plover Surf Coast are looking for more volunteers.  To volunteer, contact hoodedplover@birdlife.org.au.

More information

For more information on Hoodies on the Surf Coast visit www.savethehoodie.com.au or for information on Hooded Plovers and beach-nesting birds in general, visit www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/hooded-plover.

Learn more about beach-nesting birds, including the Hooded Plover, by watching the BirdLife Australia video below:

Save the Hoodie

In 2014 a new campaign to change beachgoer behaviour in breeding zones was launched by GORCC on the Surf Coast with the support of other partners.
The Save the Hoodie campaign encourages everyone to give Hoodies some space by keeping themseleves and their dogs well away from Hoodie nests.
Visit www.savethehoodie.com.au to find out more. 


 'Hoodies' nest in pairs and share parenting duties while vulnerable chicks can't fly for five weeks. (Photos by Glenn Ehmke)