Hatchlings Rescued!

Proud, protective parents of three adorable plover hatchlings have survived a dramatic first day of school at A.B. Paterson College.

The legends within our College Grounds and Maintenance team had been keeping a close eye on the anxious plover parents, aware they had already lost two sets of eggs during storms. Mum had laid her new eggs next to a carpark boom gate and had been furiously reprimanding anyone who dared go near.

The Grounds team was on high alert after the first two chicks hatched. They knew as soon as baby bird number three came along, the young family would be on the move… but their re-location journey would put them on a collision course with school traffic! Hundreds of families were arriving for the College’s computer rollout day, ahead of the new school year.

So began the daring rescue mission that has become a television news and social media sensation with more than 300,000 social media views in just two days!

The mission began during peak hour to help the distressed mum and dad safely relocate their tiny family across two lanes of traffic, gutters and garden beds onto the oval. Staff devised a makeshift cardboard ramp to help the chicks mount the gutters… only to find the chicks hiding underneath the ramp.

Fearing the chicks would toddle into the path of delivery vans, a Rugby training squad, staff and parent cars, staff made the bold decision to swiftly scoop the chicks into a hat and risk the ire (and beak) of Dad, who was now frantic.

There was just one problem… where had Baby No.3 gone!

As the two strongest siblings wandered off on their epic adventure across the College oval, a panicked search of garden beds was underway to find the third, helpless bird.

Finally, success! Covered in ants, Baby No. 3 was quickly scooped up and delivered safely to Mum and Dad. The adorable siblings – let’s call them Banjo, Matilda & Patty – then began the long march with Mum and Dad across the expansive oval.

Sensibly, they have now set up home in a far corner of the oval, away from the hustle and bustle of thousands of students who will return to the College on Wednesday, 27 January 2021.

Thank you to our caring wildlife rescue heroes, Georgie and Jaron from our Grounds and Maintenance team!