A piping plover. Credit: Courtesy of Bob Duchesne

Maine wildlife managers said the chicks and eggs of endangered piping plovers have been harmed several times this season, and beachgoers need to be mindful of the rare birds.

The shorebirds nest on sandy beaches in southern Maine. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said beachgoers can help by keeping dogs on leashes and keeping a close eye on their children.

The birds can be hard to see on beaches because of their coloration. Some of their nesting areas are marked, but not all.

The Maine Warden Service is asking anyone who witnesses someone harming plovers or disturbing nesting areas to report it by calling 1-800-452-4664.