Explore Our History
In cooperation with the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, our aviary staff keeps abandoned plover eggs until they hatch and releases the young birds to the wild.
Operation Snowy Plover
August 2003During the year we release a record number of threatened snowy plovers. Most arrive as eggs. After the eggs hatch we raise and release the chicks.
In the wild, snowy plovers are a federally threatened species, largely because of destruction of their beach and dunes habitat for development and recreation. Adult females lay eggs right on the sand, where these nests are at risk from wild predators, and from people and dogs. Sometimes the disturbance is overwhelming and the parents abandon their eggs or days-old chicks. Most snowy plover colonies are monitored by state park volunteers or staff, who rescue abandoned eggs or chicks and bring them here or to other facilities.