Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Turtle hatching

You'll remember that Sage's family is sponsoring a turtle nest at Flagler Beach. All summer long loggerhead turtles come up on the beach and lay about 100 eggs in a nest that is then marked by official turtle nest watchers.
We had been going down every evening to check on the hatching process. But we found out that when they expect the hatch to happen, they mark the nest with blue ribbon and then three days after the official watchers note that the first hatchlings have dug out of the nest and entered the sea, the turtle team comes back to the nest and digs it up ...
to make an inventory of how many eggs were in the nest...
and how many turtles are still in the nest after three days of hatching and escaping to the sea. Debbie found out when they were doing this for a nest, so we went down to watch it happen to prepare us for when the Wilcox nest hatches.
The empty shells, dead hatchlings, and unhatched eggs are put in piles to be counted for the records and the live turtles are put in a bucket.
After the inventory (this nest had 4 live turtles still in the nest, 4 dead turtles, one unhatched egg, and 83 eggs that had already hatched with the hatchlings already in the sea), the shells and the dead turtles are reburied in the nest and the live turtles are turned loose to crawl down the beach to the ocean.
They have to crawl to the ocean themselves so they will build their strength for the 30 mile swim to the Sargasso they will live on and to imprint the smells of the beach so the female will know which beach to come back to and lay more eggs 30 years from now.


  1. How fun. I'll have to see if they do that sort of thing here too. :)