Sea turtle nesting sets a record in Hatteras


Sea turtle picture by Thierry Caro. Published in the Wikimedia Commons.

Some good (and really cute) news. Turtle nesting season is in swing on the Cape Hatteras Seashore until late August. Last year the National Park Service counted a record 222 nests on the beaches, and this year is better yet with 232 nests laid! Read more about it in the Outer Banks Voice.

Once a year, female turtles emerge from their ocean home to take return to the beach they were born. Once on land she find a safe place and using her back flippers, digs a hole in which she lays her eggs. The process takes about 1-3 hours, after which point she will cover her eggs with sand and go back to the ocean for another year. In another couple of months the tiny turtles will hatch from their shells and instinctively make their way to the ocean. They won’t be considered adults until they’re 30 years old! On Cape Hatteras, we have five species of sea turtles: loggerhead (most prominent), green sea turtle, leatherback, Kemp’s Ridley and the rare hawksbill. You can visit with a live sea turtle daily at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.