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About 2,000 tern eggs in California were abandoned after an illegal drone flight over their hatching area ended with a crash, spooking the ground-nesting birds.

That was one of two illegal flights on May 13 that ended with a crash in the protected Bolsa Chica wetlands west of Anaheim — the other drone only temporarily flushed another group of terns from their nests, before they returned, the Orange County Register reported.

“It’s ironic,” a warden for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Nick Molsberry, told the paper. “Drone owners are attracted by the nesting colonies of birds, and then their actions destroy it.”

Molsberry said only one of the drone operators has come forward — and been cited. He said he plans to access the memory card of the other to try to find the owner.

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