Rescued Snowy Plover Now A Monterey Aquarium Ambassador Bird

Snowy Plover in care at International Bird Rescue
Snowy Plover before it was moved to Monterey Bay aquarium. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

The Snowy Plover that came into care back in May 2020 is now at its forever home at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This tiny shorebird had its wing surgically pinned and later, physical therapy, but unfortunately the bird was deemed non releasable due to inadequate flight. His bone healed but his patagium – that web of skin that connects the shoulder to the wrist on the wing – was too scarred to allow for normal elbow movement.

The adult male Western Snowy Plover was rescued by a biologist from San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve in Union City, CA. On arrival, radiographs revealed the bird had suffered a bad wing fracture, with his humerus bone in 3 pieces, plus it had a lacerated patagium. Humerus fractures generally require surgical pinning if a wild bird is to have any hope of ever being able to fly again. Read more

The bird’s wing was pinned in a delicate surgery at our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center. Such a surgery is a challenge due to the miniscule size of the patient.  Our team was especially focused on trying to repair this bird’s injuries, as the status of Western Snowy Plovers is Species of Special Concern within California, and Threatened status on the Endangered Species list.

See media story: Rare bird in care at International Bird Rescue, San Francisco Chronicle