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Piping Plover Eggs Stolen from Queens National Park

By Smriti Rao | July 19, 2012 5:37pm

QUEENS—Cops are on the hunt for the bird-brained bandit who swiped all of the eggs from two piping plover nests in Breezy Point, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area where the endangered animals live.

Authorities are hunting for an individual who went up to the two nests on the night of July 3rd, ripped off the wire netting protecting them and swiped the eggs inside, U.S. Park police said.

They believe that one person is responsible because a single set of human footprints was found in the sand.

Piping plovers are considered endangered birds and individuals convicted of violating the law that protects them can be slapped with a hefty fine ranging from $5,000 to $ 250,000 or be tossed behind bars for up to two years, authorities said.

The birds arrive each year in New York in early spring—flying up from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean—to the waterfront areas of Sandy Hook, NJ, and Breezy Point, reports said.

The tiny birds, with their orange legs and sand-colored feathers, build their nests, which are protected with wire netting, on the ground.

Calling this month’s nest-vandalism “cowardly and wrong,” Breezy Point park superintendent Linda Canzalli urged anyone with information to contact U.S. Park Police at 718-338-3988.