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

Nesting Response Team – Nest #01

NESTers have been waiting anxiously every morning for the early wake-up call about a nest but they weren’t expecting to get a call in the afternoon! Yesterday a call came in on the hotline from Duck Ocean Rescue asking if we’d heard anything about a nest recently. It turns out, someone from the public reported seeing a turtle near the dunes a few days prior (during the very windy high high tide). The chances of finding a nest with all the tell-tale signs several days after is not very great but we sent a team of near-by Nesting Responders to scope it out before getting anyone too excited.

Nest Site or Not?

They found remnants of what could be a crawl and a body pit but there wasn’t much of nest mound to be found.  Could it be a false crawl? Could it be a snapping turtle?  No, the team determined distinct incoming and outgoing crawl directions, the turtle came from the ocean and went back to it.  So, they took their best guess, retraced the path of the turtle, and picked a spot to dig. Other members went to take track-width measurements but before they even laid the tape on the ground, the diggers called out, ‘We’ve got em!”

Nancy finds the eggs with just one attempt!

So Nest #01 is found in Duck. We’re still sorting out what date it was exactly laid but our team is thrilled to kick off the season. The egg, the crawl, and the unpronounced nest site are all on the small side so maybe, just maybe, it was a Kemp’s Ridley.  We’ll tell for sure when it emerges!

The DNA egg was collected and the size noted was somewhat small.