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

The northern beaches are once again the hot spot for mama turtles to place their nests.  Two nests were laid over night.  Or rather this nest’s mama was still on the beach laying her eggs at 6 in the morning.  She was a bit of a procrastinator and got caught nesting while the sun was coming up.  Most sea turtles lay their eggs in the dead of night.  Except for Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles which prefer to nest during the day.  A bit more risky option in the 4 wheel drive beach with all the traffic.  But luckily this Loggerhead sea turtle placed her nest in a less traveled area of the beach.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle heads back to the ocean after laying her eggs

Below is a picture of her crawl and nest site.  This sea turtle mom came onshore to the left by the car.  In the loop she made a depression in the sand, known as a body pit.  The depression forms as she is working to dig out a hole to drop her eggs.  She uses her back flippers to dig the hole.  Once the eggs are released into the egg chamber, she again uses her back flippers to throw sand over the hole and cover up her eggs.  The mound of sand you see just behind the body pit is where her eggs are hidden.  After covering up her eggs, she turns and heads out crossing over her incoming tracks.

Sea turtle crawl and nest site

Here is a close up of her tracks in the sand.  Loggerheads can weigh 155 to 350 pounds so they leave a nice impression in the sand.  Her flipper marks look like comma marks.  A Loggerhead will pull herself up the beach alternating front flippers.  This creates the zig zag pattern between the comma marks.

Loggerhead sea turtle tracks

Our responding team did a great job locating the eggs, collecting data and securing the nest site.  Thanks to Team Lead Karen and her responding N.E.S.T. members for a job well done.

 

  • nest number: 34
  • town: Carova
  • date eggs laid: 07/21/2022

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