Is a nest ready to hatch?

posted: August 13, 2019, 5:32 PM

Want to know how to spot a nest that might be ready to hatch? Look for one that has a black landscape collar on it. The turtle patrol “collars” nests 50 days after the momma laid the eggs. This prepares the nest to hatch. The black collar helps keep the babies from heading toward the dunes, the houses and the road. The collar also “funnels” the babies in the direction of the ocean. A team also digs and sweeps a “trench” that helps keep the babies headed in the right direction. Eggs typically hatch after 50-60 days of incubation in the hot sand. The “adoptive” turtle patrol members will go to their nest every night after it is collared waiting and watching for the hatchlings. The babies usually hatch in the evening or overnight when the sand has cooled and it is safer for them to come out. Stop by the nest in the evening and talk with the turtle patrol members to see what’s happening at their nest.

Thanks to Thomas Harrison a vacationer on the beach this week for sharing this overhead view of a collared nest on the east end of the island. The other photo is the same nest close-up.

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