THESE might not be the easiest birds to love but The Courier nature write Roger Thomas suggests perhaps they are a bit misunderstood.
International Plover Appreciation Day, a movement a few years old, is on Wednesday and aims to shed a little more light on all things plover.
In Ballarat, this falls in a time when most seemingly want to attack us with high-pitched screams akin to a Hitchcock thriller.
Mr Thomas said while they could be a nuisance, especially if nesting on sporting or school ovals, it could be a matter of perspective.
"They're just dedicated parents trying to protect their chicks," Mr Thomas said. "Most will have hatched their chicks already in Ballarat, so they're going to be very protective. They will very rarely strike anyone but certainly could be a threat."
Unlike magpies, plovers do not stick about all year around and get to know nice people in the area.
Mr Thomas said they do tend to favour the same areas for nesting but often move out during the dry summer.
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Open spaces and council gardens are high in their territory interests and so too are roundabouts (handy for nesting, but problematic for chicks).
Ballarat-based plovers also like wetlands near Lake Wendouree, like the mud islands on the eastern side, and Mr Thomas said some chicks that hatch on islands could swim back there after a days' play.
Bird Life Australia says the best way to appreciate plovers is with space and respect.
Plover Appreciation Day raises awareness of the bird globally with many species in danger because their ground nests are often camouflaged in popular recreation spots.
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