Nest 16

Some would say Nest 16 looks like a horse shoe pit or a mullet toss field like the ones at the Sea Food Festival. This mother sea turtle apparently tried to camouflage her nest as she walked through the mound and thoroughly demolished reliable nest landmarks. Great job Mom!  Once ATV rider, Lynn P, found the tracks, it was easy work to trace the long and erratic crawl up to the nest site.

Nest 16 in the foreground and the Nags head ATV donated by the Outer Banks Community Foundation in the background.

But then nesting response experts Mary Ann and Rick J then took over to find the exact location of the egg chamber. That was not so easy!

The hard working and determined team of Mary Ann and Rick J before starting their work.

Their work paid off and the eggs were found! The team determined the nest should be relocated. Generally, we relocate nests if the nest is below the average high tide line, laid in an area susceptible to erosion or is close to a sloughing escarpment. In this case, the nest was below the average high tide line. Once relocation was complete, dataloggers were installed, the DNA egg was collected and the site was staked off until emergence of the hatchlings.

UPDATE 9-11-2020

The rag tag band (Bonnie’s description not mine!) of volunteers at Nest 16 led by Bonnie and Tim made quick work of the excavation. They found 2 live hatchlings that later made their way successfully to the ocean.  Thank you Nest 16 for all your hard work!!

The hardworking team of Nest 16. Thank you for a wonderful job!!!


  • nest number: 16
  • town: Nags Head
  • date eggs laid: 07/10/2020
  • actual emergence date: 9/5/2020
  • live hatchlings: 121
  • total eggs: 146

See all active nests