Bird brain decision has parents in a flap
Parents have been left furious after their daughters’ school hockey games were cancelled on the weekend due to an “agitated and aggressive” bird.
The three games were called off after a plover’s nest was found on a field at Santa Sabina College in Sydney’s inner-west.
Instead of simply moving the nest, all games on the field were cancelled (full statement from IGSSA below).
A father of one of the disappointed girls contacted Ben Fordham about the story, telling him it’s another symptom of “a nanny state gone wrong”.
“How can we lack that much common sense that we can’t move a bird’s nest 20 metres?
“It’s just another example of crazy bureaucratic rules gone wrong.”
But Ben thinks the old bird’s nest excuse is perfect to keep in mind for the future.
“I know what to do next time I don’t want to go to work. I’ll just say ‘look, I saw a plover’s nest just outside the front door of the office!’”
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview
The plover disruption had many annoyed parents asking why didn’t they just move the nest?
Sydney University bird expert, Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli, tells Ben Fordham we shouldn’t be too scared of the plover because it’s all bluff.
“If they’re disturbed they’ll start swooping around and try and chase you but they haven’t got the same sort of beak like something like say a magpie, so they’re unlikely to draw blood.”
However, Mr Hochuli says the ground managers would have been bound by regulations that say you can’t disturb native animals.
“I think having a set of protocols that would help you be able to move them easily would be good because they’re really resilient birds.”
Click PLAY below to hear the bird experts full view on the plover issue
Full statement from IGSSA:
“IGSSA sport is played on Saturdays during term time at members’ schools and public venues throughout Sydney. On Saturday 24th August, 82 hockey matches were scheduled on 23 different fields across the Sydney metropolitan area.
Every effort is made to identify potential hazards and these are addressed prior to the commencement of each sport. Venues are checked regularly and the safety guidelines of the overarching state sporting body are observed. Venue conveners are trained to handle safety issues at their venue and reports are completed and reviewed for those accidents or injuries that do occur.
At a venue last Saturday, where three games were due to be played, the venue convenor completed a risk assessment and noted that a plover’s nest was on the hockey field. Investigations revealed that plovers are a native species protected by the Nature Conservation Act and WIRES note that they not be approached and the area be avoided whilst breeding. Further consideration was given to the fact that the plover was agitated, aggressive and therefore compromised our duty of care. Whilst unfortunate, the decision was made to close the venue.
The convenor immediately contacted the IGSSA office and staff updated the website at 8.05to reflect the venue closure. The convenor stayed at the venue to meet those teams in transit to explain and apologise for the situation. The remaining two schools were phoned to inform them of the decision
The three games that were scheduled for that venue were cancelled, all matches involved Loreto Normanhurst but not Santa Sabina.
Due to the short season (Term 3) the games cannot be rescheduled, however our point system takes into consideration any venue closures and averages the points scored across the matches played. Therefore no schools are disadvantaged by a venue closure.”