OBX Sea Turtles (2015) – Nest #5

OBX Sea Turtles (2015) – Nest #5

Nest #5 – 30 June 2015 – Duck NC
The Duck Dynasty team finally got what it has been looking for. In fact, this was more than it had hoped for. The female turtle had just begun laying her eggs when the NEST volunteers arrived. This was the best treat of the season. Volunteers wait many years for this opportunity.

Almost always the sea turtles crawl onto the beach to nest late at night. Even if we are lucky enough to have someone report “a turtle on the beach,” we cannot take any pictures because it is too dark and we cannot use a flash. It is illegal to harass an endangered species, and flash photography would definitely harass them. This is where the quality comes in. Duck may not have the quantity of nests, but being able to actually witness the nesting miracle makes this nest way superior in quality.

Dennis Silveri, the Duck ATV driver, captured wonderful photos and even better videos of the action on this eventful morning (see Video Playlist below). You can see by the shape of her head why this species of sea turtle was named loggerhead. And, as you can see from the video, the nest was laid very close to the ocean. 106 eggs were relocated to a safer place

VIDEO: Loggerhead Digging at Nest #5 (Video courtesy Dennis Silveri)
VIDEO: Nest #5 Loggerhead Returns to Ocean (Video courtesy Dennis Silveri)

Karen Clark (Wildlife Education Specialist at the Outer Banks Wildlife Educational Center and also the NEST liaison with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission) brought her beautiful son Benji to see his first sea turtle. From this picture you can see how large the turtle is—she may weigh 200-300 pounds. Karen is our sea turtle and marine mammal leader and has been educating visitors and locals for many years on the Outer Banks. Now she has her own son to educate. Maybe when he is an adult he will return to this same beach, just as a female hatchling from this nest might, and educate the next generation.