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

Most sea turtles lay their nests in the dark of night.  Kemps Ridley turtles prefer the daylight hours.  This beautiful Kemps sea turtle came onto the beach around five o’clock.

She quickly became the center of attention on the 4 wheel drive beach.  Our response team helped to protect her while she made a nest and laid her eggs.  A string is placed inside the nest while she is laying.  This makes it easier for the response team to locate the eggs after she hides them under the sand.

Using string to mark exact location of nest chamber

Once the eggs were laid, this sea turtle mom covered up the eggs and this is where the story takes a strange turn.  Our sea turtle mom after covering up 99 eggs, heads back to the ocean but stops to lay another 33 eggs on top of the sand six feet from her original nest. As she covers up her eggs, she not only throws sand but does a little dance patting down the sand.

An onlooker took this video of mother turtle laying eggs and doing the Kemps Ridley “dance” at the end.

Eggs being laid outside the nest chamber

She put on quite a show for those watching her nest and then returns to the ocean as shown in this video.


The response team gathers up the eggs laid on top of the sand.  They relocate the outside eggs with the original eggs into one egg chamber.

Outside eggs are collected and relocated with the original 99 eggs

Of course this nest provides even more entertainment as the wind picks up and it begins to rain.  The team improvises by erecting umbrellas to protect the nest site and their paperwork.

Response team working in the rain to combine the eggs

Finally all the tasks are completed and the response team gathers for a group picture.  N.E.S.T. volunteers have fun no matter what the circumstances.  Great job response team!

Nest 16 Response Team


  • nest number: 16
  • town: Carova
  • date eggs laid: 06/27/2022
  • actual emergence date: None
  • total eggs: 133

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