Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Rhythms of Nature: Snapping Turtles Egg Laying

I sometimes think I am so fortunate to be able to predict or know when to look for special happenings in nature.  For example: ever since we came across a Snapping Turtle laying eggs in June, 2000 , we have observed and looked for and found the same happening reoccur each year in mid to late June.  The same is happening again this year.
I had been searching for the past  few weeks  and on Thursday of this week, my searchings were rewarded for I found a Snapping Turtle in the river.  From my past experiences and observations this sighting indicated to me that the turtle would come out of the river and climb the tall embankments near the river there, and search out its old nest site , and dig a hole and lay its eggs there.

But first these  pictures before the  rest of the story is told.If you look carefully you can see in turtle in the river near the shore in the two photos below and the ones above..

                            Only the head of the turtle was above water.
This photo above shows the turtle positioning itself to climb out of the river.

From experience of years past This spot of sand and gravel will be the turtles destination. This is where Snapping Turtles lay their eggs each year.  I doubt that this year will be any different. This location is quite a distance from the river.  to reach it the turtle must climb a big embankment and struggle through the hillside venation to reach it.

Later on that same day, in the afternoon I found the turtle had achieved its long climb up the embankment,Here it is, looking all tuckered out!
I didn't see the turtle  again but the next morning I found that the sand and gravel in the old nest site had been visited and disturbed!  The disturbed nest site suggested to me that the snapping turtle had probably laid her eggs there and then sometime during the night returned to the river.
I shall occassionally check on this nest site  over the summer with hopes that the eggs are not dug up by any predators and shall hope I catch the moment of hatching in three months time!
Above the disturbed sand ( soil) at the nest site the next morning The turtle probably laid her eggs there.

1 comment:

eileeninmd said...

Cool series! It is neat seeing what the turtles go thru laying their eggs. Sorry, that their spot was disturbed.