In this photo provided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Leslie Rao, assistant aviculturist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., releases four threatened Western snowy plovers on Moss ... more 
In this photo provided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Leslie Rao, assistant aviculturist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., releases four threatened Western snowy plovers on Moss Landing State Beach in Moss Landing, Calif., on Thursday, July 14, 2011. The birds were rescued in June 2011 as eggs from abandoned nests and, in one case, as a young chick struggling in the surf on a Monterey Bay beach. The Pacific coast population of these shorebirds is designated as threatened under the Endangered Species Act due largely to destruction of the beach habitat where the birds nest, conflict with human recreational uses in vital nesting areas, and destruction of eggs, chicks and breeding adults by non-native and native predators, including feral cats and non-native red foxes. The birds nest on beaches along the coast, laying camouflaged eggs in small depressions in the sand or in accumulations of seaweed. Since 2000, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has reared 75 chicks behind the scenes – including 45 chicks hatched from eggs recovered from abandoned nests. It has released 55 chicks at remote beach locations around Monterey Bay. (AP Photo/Monterey Bay Aquarium, Randy Wilder) less 
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Associated Press | Photo By Monterey Bay Aquarium, Randy Wilder
Fri, Jul 15, 2011 8:41 PM EDT