A late night call from the NEST hotline means we have a sea turtle nesting on our beach.  Our wonderful Currituck deputies stood guard until the responding team could arrive to the site.  As the team approached they saw the turtle heading back to the ocean after laying her eggs.

Loggerhead sea turtle on the beach

The team quickly staked off the area, gathered data and located the egg chamber as it started to rain.  One data logger was buried among the eggs and another was buried just outside the nest.  These devices record the temperature hourly.  As the eggs develop and particularly when they are close to emerging, we find a slight rise in the temperature inside the nest.  This helps us to predict the viability of the nest.  The metabolic heat created by the hatchlings themselves causes this small rise in temperature inside the nest.

Egg chamber and eggs removed and put back after the data logger is inserted into the nest

The mother turtle did a great job placing the nest high up on the beach while avoiding any vehicles that were driving by her.  She headed back to the ocean after a job well done.  We will take care of your precious little ones while they reside on our beach.  Then one day they will emerge from the sand, head for the ocean and explore the world.

Mother turtle heading back out to the ocean

  • nest number: 34
  • town: Swan Beach - 4 wheel drive
  • date eggs laid: 08/22/2020

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