Loggerhead sea turtles are busy laying eggs along the Georgia coast, where the total number of nests counted midway through the season already beats the annual average.
More than 1,300 turtle nests have been spotted on the state's beaches from Little Tybee Island to Cumberland Island. That's well above the long-term average of 1,035 nests.
Mark Dodd, who oversees the sea turtle recovery program for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, says loggerhead nests could easily top 2,000 by the time nesting season ends in August. The pace so far suggests Georgia could top last year's record count of 2,241 nests.
Loggerhead sea turtles are protected as a threatened species under federal law. They nest on beaches from the Carolinas to Florida every summer.