Rare snowy plover eggs possibly stolen from Florida beach

Eggs belonging to a protected bird species in Panama City are missing, and wildlife officials hope someone from public can identify a person of interest.

On March 15, surveillance video captured images of an unidentified woman, who walked passed signs, flags and rope, to enter a protected wildlife area on Crooked Island West. Her entry caused a nesting snowy plover, which are small shorebirds, to fly away from its nest, leaving three of its eggs exposed, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

It appears, officials said, that the woman spotted the eggs. Within a minute, she disappears from the camera’s range, and so do the eggs. 

The adult birds returned to their nest, searching for their eggs, but couldn’t find them. FWC officials said the snowy plover and their eggs are protected by the state. 

Anyone with information on the identity of the unknown woman are asked to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. Investigators say they want to speak to her.

Snowy plovers typically nest in open sandy beaches. FWC establish areas during nesting or migration periods to protect protected animals, such as snowy plovers. For additional information on the protected areas, head to the FWC website: MyFWC.com/CWA.