This is the time of year that shorebirds begin to nest along the coast which means that people should take extra care while wandering the beaches.
Many birds in Franklin County nest along the old St. George Island bridge causeway as well as the bird island off the high hump of the Apalachicola Bridge.
Both of those areas can only be reached by boat – and both are off-limits through the summer.
They will remain off-limits until August 31st
But there are also nesting sites along local beaches and in state parks which are still vulnerable to humans.
To help protect shorebird nests, State and federal wildlife biologists recommend that visitors maintain a minimum distance of 300 feet from nesting colonies.
Keep pets on a leash and away from posted areas.
And avoid flying kites around nesting colonies, which can be mistaken as "predators" by the adult birds, leaving nests exposed to extreme heat from the summer sun.
All nesting shorebirds are protected by state and federal law so if you find a disturbed nest, an injured bird, or some other wildlife violation report it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922.