New ATV rider Dave J found his first nest ever in Kitty Hawk this morning. Congratulations Dave!

ATV rider Dave J in front of the KDH ATV with memorial sign in honor of beloved NESTer Charlotte Alexander

Nest 12 was laid in a highly erodible area of Kitty Hawk and after much discussion and consultation with our science advisor, Karen Clark , the decision was made to relocate the nest to safer ground.

Responders evaluate Nest 12

Nesting responders are extremely cautious about relocating nests and only do so when the original location is a serious threat to the survival of the hatchlings. Our caution is because it is still a mystery as to why mother sea turtles pick one site over another to lay their eggs. If we routinely relocate nests we would be interfering with something we don’t fully understand and potentially cause other types of harm to the hatchlings. In addition, nests are relocated to higher and dryer ground and thus warmer locations. Warmer incubations temperatures mean more female hatchlings. Like many reptiles, the sex of a sea turtle is determined by the temperature of the nest. In our area for loggerhead sea turtles, the temperature where 50% of the embryos will be male and 50% will be female is around 84.6˚F.  As our climate changes and oceans warm, colder northern breeding grounds such as those covered by NEST are important to provide sufficient numbers of male hatchlings to sustain and grow overall sea turtle populations. See Nest Science Nest Temperatures – Network for Endangered Sea Turtles ( for more information and for a summary of the related research NEST is doing.

Joyce (top) finds the eggs at the original nest. Team 12 had to dig a few holes to find the nest as a visitor and his dog walked right over the top of the nest!

Eggs from original nest are placed in egg cartons and then cooler and moved to the safer site.

Eggs at the new nest site

Team 12: Jaime, Joyce, Sharon, Jo, and Peg

  • nest number: 12
  • town: Kitty Hawk
  • date eggs laid: 07/10/2021
  • actual emergence date: 9/2/2021
  • live hatchlings: 98
  • total eggs: 114

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