9:43 AM PDT, June 6, 2021
Unfortunately, on May 13th a drone crash led to about 2,500 of the marine birds fleeing the area.
Elegant terns — a bird in the subfamily Sternidae and a relative of the gull, but smaller — migrate in the spring from Central and South America, often nesting in places like this reserve.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, more than 200 avian species have been identified at the reserve.
This drone crash frightened the birds, resulting in about 1,500 of their eggs being left behind. Because the eggs need warmth from their parents to survive, they are no longer viable after complete abandonment.
According to the New York Times, the California Department for Fish and Wildlife is working on obtaining a search warrant in order to find the origin of the drone disruption and pursue misdemeanor criminal charges, including the needless destruction of eggs or nests, the harassment of wildlife, and the use of a drone in a closed ecological reserve, agains the drone’s owner.