Several firsts on a Saturday afternoon

posted: May 9, 2021, 6:44 PM

Not only did we have our first nest yesterday (May 8, 2021) it was a historic event!
Our first nest of the season was laid Saturday afternoon around 2 p.m. So our turtle season has officially begun.

This nest marks a series of firsts!

1. First Kemp's Ridley Turtle nest to be laid on our beach in Turtle Patrol History.
2. First nest in North Carolina for this season.
3. Earliest nest laid on Holden Beach (see First Nest History in the Photo section of this website.)

Kemp's Ridley are the smallest of the five kinds of turtles that lay nests in North Carolina. They usually lay nests further north in the Outer Banks area. Kemp's Ridleys are the most threatened species of turtles that nest in North Carolina. They usually nest during daylight hours (so mid-afternoon is not unusual for them). The momma climbed an escarpment and laid the nest in a safe place. Incubation for Kemp's Ridley turtles is similar to Loggerheads, we expect to have babies from this nest in around 60 days. Their nests typically have 104 to 110 eggs.

We're excited to have a Kemp's Ridley nest on out beach. The turtle we see most often is the Loggerhead turtle. Riders are out each morning looking for turtle tracks (called crawls.) We're thinking it will still be a little while before we have a Loggerhead nest....but who knows... our earliest recorded date for a Loggerhead nest on the beach was May 9, 2019.

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