This morning an unidentified hero called the hotline and told Nancy there was a crawl and a nest in Nags Head. Each year our ATV patrols stop on August 31st so thank you very much!!  The water temperatures are still pretty warm so the turtles have lingered a bit too long in the Outer Banks. The NOAA buoys tell us the water is still between 78 and 80 degrees plenty warm enough for turtles. We get concerned about late nests as the fall temperatures don’t often lead to healthy offspring.  See Nest Science Nest Temperatures – Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (nestonline.org). Optimal average nest incubation temps are around 83 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Less than 80 degrees F. mean hatchlings are either less vigorous than they need to be or don’t hatch at all.

This good green mother kept to type and put her nest all the way up in the dune next to the sand fence!

Big messy nests are typical of greens

This was the fifth green sea turtle nest of the season and I suspect four were by the same mother as they were all just about 2 weeks apart, nests 17 (7/22), 25 (8/6), 27 (8/21) and 28 (9/3). It is typical for sea turtles to lay multiple nests every 10 to 14 days in a single year and then take a year or two to rest between nesting years.

Once the call went out one team leader (to remain unnamed) decided to roll over and leave Pam M to head out on her own. Fortunately our illustrious President was already at the nest and jumped in to help. Karen and Michelle weren’t far behind. Thank you Team 28!

Thanks to Pam M the team found the nest on the first hole.  As you can see you need a long arm to dig at a green nest!

Team 28: Karen, Michelle, and Pam. John is photographer

  • nest number: 29
  • town: Nags Head
  • date eggs laid: 09/03/2021

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