About The Little Egg Foundation

Quick History

When the first Dutch explorers landed along the coast of New Jersey near what is today Ocean County, they quickly named it "Egg Harbor." The beaches and marshes where they landed were so rich with tiny bird eggs, they couldn't have named it anything else.

A few hundred years later, the region is still known as Little Egg Harbor, and it is one of the last places left in New Jersey where several species of these once-abundant coastal birds can still survive. It is also where software developer Jim Verhagen met PhD candidate Michelle Stantial and, bonding over a shared love of animals and data science, they created a digital system called NestStory for collecting, storing, and analyzing data about nesting birds.

NestStory has grown from a small app for studying Piping Plover around Little Egg Harbor into a massive data system for studying any nesting animal in a powerfully convenient and cost-effectively flexible, digital way. NestStory is now being used across the U.S., from Alaska to Hawaii, to Florida and up to Massachusettes, to study everything from Bald Eagles to Burrowing Owls, and Least Terns to Peregrine Falcon.

Hatching The Little Egg Foundation

The Little Egg Foundation is a non-profit Corporation dedicated to helping endangered birds and the people who work with them. Founding board members Jim Verhagen and Michelle Stantial created the Little Egg Foundation to help finance and operate the NestStory data collection system so that organizations working with endangered coastal birds can continue to use the software for free.

The Little Egg Foundation also designs and executes advanced research projects for organizations that are now possible thanks to the NestStory data system.


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