Visitors warned of birds nesting along Ga. coast - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Visitors warned of birds nesting along Ga. coast

ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is reminding beachgoers to be mindful of protected bird nesting habitats along the coastline.

Several areas of the coast are home to beach-nesting birds that lay eggs in shallow areas between the ocean and sand dunes between April and July. After hatching, the chicks hide on the beach or in the grass.

Department officials say disturbance from humans could cause adult birds to abandon the nests and chicks, which could leave the birds exposed to extreme heat and predators.

Department officials say visitors should observe beach-nesting birds from a distance, and back away from birds they accidentally disturb.

Visitors are also asked to keep pets on leashes. Officials say owners of animals that chase shorebirds could be fined for harassing a federally protected species.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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