Melbourne Beach, Florida

Outdoor Resorts of America

Part D - Sea Turtle Nesting

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In past years we always looked for the Sea Turtle nests during the day. You can see their tracks to and from the nest from the night before.
This year we decide to walk the beach at night and look for the turtles laying eggs. We were very lucky. We saw quite a few crawling up the beach, digging their nests, laying eggs, covering the nests, and then heading back to the ocean. It takes almost 2 hours for the complete process. It would be easier if they waited for high tide. But they come ashore at any tide.

This year we only saw Loggerhead turtles. The Leatherback turtles are also very common in this area of Flordia.

Mom watching Mrs. Turtle doing her thing.

The nest is covered and she is heading for the ocean.
The process of diging and covering causes the turtle to be covered in sand.

I waited for about an hour for this turtle to do her thing.
While I waited this group of people arrived and waited with me.
I had to keep them from disturbing the process until she was finished.
They wanted to shine lights on her and make noise. I told them they had to remain quiet and keep the lights off. If you disturb the process sometimes the turtle will not completely cover the nest and then leave. This allows the eggs to be easy prey by the sea birds.

This will give you an idea about how large the Loggerhead can get.

This was a smaller one.
She was in the process of covering her nest.

This nest was not properly covered.
The sea birds got to some of the eggs.
An egg is about the size of a ping pong ball.
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