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FOUR SIMPLE STEPS FOR WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER SAFETY

Posted on the 9th January 2020

FOUR SIMPLE STEPS FOR WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER SAFETY
(Based on research and development work initially undertaken by the Nature’s Valley Trust)

People rush to beaches not knowing what risk they pose to beach breeding birds like the White-fronted Plover and the African Black Oystercatcher. What might be a nice day for us may end up in anxious adult birds or even a killing spree for birds. 

1. KNOW WHERE THEY OCCUR
Sandy coastlines, dunes and along river estuaries and mudflats 

2. KNOW THE BIRD
# Feeds on insects, sandflies, termites worms and small crustaceans
# Incubation period (Period on nest): 27 TO 32 DAYS. Fledgling period (The time it takes until the youngsters can look after themselves): AT LEAST 30 DAYS. This implies that the area needs to be protected for more than 2 months
# They breed throughout the year with a peak between August and March 

3. KNOW WHERE THEY BREED
# Nests are shallow scrapes on the sand
#Adults cover the eggs with sand when they leave the nest
#Adults scared off nests by humans and dogs
#Nests disturbed by people or dogs could cause eggs to overheat, being predated or even fail 

4. DO THE FOLLOWING ON BEACHES:
# Report breeding activity or chicks at birding@overberg.co.za or 082 550 3347
# Watch your steps and do not approach within 30 meters of such nests
# No driving on beaches
# Dogs should at least be leashed near such sites
# Do not litter

A photographic overview of such a breeding and chick raising process of African Black Oystercatchers by Jenny Parsons can be viewed at this link:
http://www.westerncapebirding.co.za/overberg/news/2437/the_life_cycle_of_an_african_oystercatcher_breeding_site

These nest warning signs are now being set up at identified breeding sites of African Black Oystercatchers and White-fronted Plovers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vulnerable chick (Image provided)
Adult at nest (Image by the Nature's Valley Trust)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adult White-fronted Plover (Image by Martin Taylor)

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