Blog Post By: Annie Gentry
It’s been an absolutely amazing week for BABIES! We had our first nest ‘boil’ over (Nest 1) this passed week, making it the first hatched nest in South Carolina. Leah had us inventory the nest on Sunday, and it was wildly successful! We dug up the egg chamber and sorted the eggs as being hatched, unhatched, or as a ‘pip’ which is when the turtle almost fully developed but did not quite get there. There were no dead hatchings and TWO LIVE BABIES! I didn’t realize how small they were. It’s amazing to think that they could grow up to be 375 lbs! We released the hatchlings to the water and cheered them on the entire way out to the ocean blue.
Since then, we've had more nests emerge! I was fortunate enough to witness a boil last Tuesday night on our nightwalk at nest 4. Leah strolled ahead looking for tracks and made the decision to go check out nest 4. Beneath all of the shells she saw a little head, and then dozens began the wiggle! She walkie talkied to me “We have babies! Bring the group!” I could barely contain my excitement. I lead the group over to where Leah was and we formed a semicircle around the back of nest, kept our voices low, and turned off our flashlights. It was only a matter of minutes until a 100+ hatchlings broke the surface and began their crawl to the water! We cleared away some of the cordgrass to create somewhat of a runway for the turtles and make their journey a little bit easier. From then on out we had to be extremely careful about where we stepped because they blend in so well with the sand and the shells.
We have our public inventory this evening, Friday July 14, and I can only hope that Nest 3 will exhibit the same success as out first nest. As if I didn’t love sea turtles enough, the hatchlings have just become the icing on the cake! Many hatchlings to come as we are up to 140 nests, we are ready for you babies!
Sea Turtle Biologist