BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Rare loggerhead sea turtles are busy digging nests and laying eggs on beaches in Georgia and South Carolina.

Wildlife officials in both states report finding dozens of nests since May 1, considered the unofficial start of the sea turtle nesting season.

So far, Georgia wildlife officials have reported more than 50 nests, with more than half found on federally protected Cumberland Island.

In South Carolina, at least 47 loggerhead nests have been spotted. Roughly one-fourth were found in the Edisto Beach area.

Loggerhead sea turtles grow to weigh up to 375 pounds and are protected by federal law as a threatened species. They nest during the spring and summer months on beaches from North Carolina to Florida.