Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program Turtle Talk Photo Album Links of Interest Sign Our Guestbook Contact Us

Nest #1 Hatched overnight

posted: July 18, 2020, 12:57 PM

No real details...but the morning rider today reported there were lots of little flipper prints out of nest #1. It hatched overnight on it's own. It appears many hatchlings got safely into the water on their own. Yeah. The hatching season has started. Not only is this the first nest to hatch on our beach...it's the first in the state!

Q: How do Turtle Patrol members know that a nest is going to hatch?

A: A adoption team of Turtle Patrol members visits the nest looking for signs of baby turtles beginning 50 days after the mother has laid the nest. Nests usually hatch around day 55 but this can change due to weather and how hot or cool the sand has been. Nests have taken as long as 70 days and as short as 48 days. Usually one of the first indications that the hatchlings are getting ready to emerge is a “depression” or sinking in the middle of the nest area. This means the babies are moving around inside the nest. There may be a depression for several days before the babies emerge. A sign that the turtles are going to hatch soon is movement of the sand at the top of the nest or depression.

Nests typically hatch after dark. The hatchlings can sense it is dark outside because the sand cools off. At night it is safer for the babies to emerge and run to the ocean. Sometimes on cooler or cloudy days there will be daytime hatchings because the sand is cooler.

These are “typical” indications that a nest will hatch soon. Sometimes there are no signs.

These photos were taken Saturday morning of nest #1...lots of little flipper prints in the sand. It hatched on day 67 sometime between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Saturday morning. More little ones came out overnight Saturday, too. Since this was a natural nest, we don't know how many until the team closes the nests and counts the empty egg shells.

Go To News Index Page

about | turtle talk | photos | links | contact us | support | weather