Nesting Over

posted: August 21, 2017, 1:01 PM

It has been two weeks since any sign of a mother turtle on Holden Beach. This means we consider the “nesting” part of the sea turtle season over. The last nest was laid on August 7. With incubation of 50-60 days we anticipate we’ll be watching nests into early October. This is nest #47.

The current number of nests on the beach is now holding at 50. You may wonder how we can get to 50 without seeing a new mother. The answer is: false crawls. Last week we had three additional false crawls hatch—allowing us to call them nests. These were locations where the rider had seen the mother’s tracks, but team members couldn’t find the eggs. The nests were discovered when hatchlings were found on the beach.

We’ve closed 25 of the 50 nests so just half-way through the hatching season. Several nests are scheduled to be “collared” this week, so look for red-shirted turtle patrol members on the beach in the evenings. Several of the nests that we are currently “watching” have gotten “depressions” early—47-50 days of incubation—instead of the “normal” 50-60 days. Like human babies...the turtle hatchlings come when they are ready.

Photos from closing of nest #13 on the east end of the island. Can you see a turtle in the sky?

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