Network for Endangered Sea Turtles 24 HR. HOTLINE 252-441-8622

A spectacular sunrise shining on a newly laid sea turtle nest in Duck.  The nest is in a perfect spot up close to the dune.  Our amazing N.E.S.T. responding team took on the task of quickly finding the egg chamber on their first try!

Sea turtle tracks and nesting site

The tracks are small in width so maybe this is a new Loggerhead mom or could it be a Kemps Ridley?  N.E.S.T.  participates in a study that analyzes the DNA of sea turtles that lay eggs along the U.S. shores from North Carolina to Florida.  Each year we learn results about the sea turtles that nest in our area.  What species of sea turtle, how many times did it nest in a season, is it a first time mom or has it nested along our coast before, and any relations to other nesting sea turtle moms.

We also insert data loggers in and around the nest site to capture hourly temperature data.  We use this information to help determine approximately when a nest may hatch.  Sea turtle development, like many reptiles is temperature based.  Hotter nests incubate a little faster.

Data logger being inserted into the egg chamber

After collecting all the data on this nest, the volunteers mark off the area to protect the site as the eggs develop.  Below is a picture of our amazing volunteer responding team.  Now we wait as these eggs develop into a new crop of little hatchlings.

Nest #2 Responding Team


  • nest number: 02
  • town: Duck
  • date eggs laid: 05/30/2022
  • actual emergence date: 7/31/2022
  • live hatchlings: 63
  • total eggs: 105

See all active nests