HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut and AP) – Connecticut environmental officials are urging people to stay away from birds in coastal areas during the busy summer beach season.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says people should stay at least 50 yards away from areas where large concentrations of birds are gathered and avoid places that are roped off or marked with signs designating nesting locations.

Officials say beachgoers are often unaware of shore birds that nest in sands near swimming and fishing areas. They say some birds– including piping plovers, least terns, American oystercatchers, herons and egrets– are especially vulnerable to disturbances from kites, fireworks and unleashed dogs.

Officials say the state already has lost one piping plover chick to an unleashed dog and a nest that was trampled by people this nesting season.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 

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