Little ones helping little ones!

What do you get when you combine the Bairnsdale Joey Scout Group and Birdlife Australia?  An enthusiastic group of kids constructing specially designed chick shelters for the benefit of endangered bird species!!

The Bairnsdale Joey Scout Group recently embarked on a project to help protect the many different beach nesting bird species found across the Gippsland Lakes.

BirdLife East Gippsland Project Manager, Deb Sullivan, said it was great to join forces to build the chick shelters.

“Chick shelters are a really simple design,” explained Ms Sullivan. “They form a basic A-frame which is partially buried in the sand on beaches to provide protection for shore birds that nest on the beach, such as the Hooded Plover, Fairy Terns and Little Terns.

Bairnsdale Joey Scout Team Leader, Genelle Hammond secured funding for the project from the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants program.

“Our Joey Scouts attacked the task with boundless enthusiasm,” said Ms Hammond. “Especially when taking turn on the drills! The simple design of the shelters is suited to the skills of our five to seven-year-olds, under the watchful eye of team leaders and some helpful adults.”

“The Joey’s built the shelters largely on their own. They drilled, attached screws and labelled the shelters and then lacquered and sprinkled with sand to make them more attractive to the birds.”

Ms Sullivan was thrilled to have the children involved.  “It’s a really fun, hands on activity. But the kids are also learning about the beach nesting birds who share the Lakes with us.

“These shelters are a successful tool in the fight to protect chicks of beach nesting bird species.  They offer shade and protection for newly hatched, highly mobile chicks and are used regularly by the young birds.”

The chick shelters have been installed at a number of significant sites for breeding birds across the Gippsland Lakes. Beach goers are asked not to disturb these A frame shelters if seen as they provide critical support for endangered beach nesting birds and are a key contributor to assist in survival.

The Bairnsdale Joey Scout Group will have the opportunity to see their chick shelter constructions in place when they embark on a boat tour later in November aboard the ‘Lady Jodie’.  The tour will include conversations and activities with Parks Victoria at Rotamah Island and BirdLife Australia.

Scouts are a great place to have adventures and connect with the wider community. Enquires regarding children enrolment or adult volunteering can be forwarded to


This media release is courtesy BirdLife Australia.