Eastern Box Turtles Nesting on Massaschusetts SouthCoast

Eastern Box Turtle Peeks through Mostly Closed Shell

Joining snappers and painteds and spotteds, Eastern box turtles are now nesting on the Massachusetts SouthCoast.  This gorgeous lady, in her peek-a-boo pose, comes from Hammetts Cove in East Marion.

Female Eastern Box Turtle #66

Hammetts Cove hosts a terrapin nesting site where we have usually found the first Sippican Harbor nester each year.  When we begin checking for terrapin nesters, we often encounter box turtles on nesting runs a day or two before the terrapins arrive.

Eastern Box Turtle in Marion’s Hammetts Cove

When Sue Wieber Nourse and Rufus investigated the Hammetts Cove site this morning, they discovered an ancient female box turtle crawling through the area after completing her nest.  As you can see in the photograph above, despite their gaudy colors, box turtles blend perfectly into their surroundings, making them extremely difficult to detect.

Female Eastern Box Turtle #66

This morning proved our first encounter with this ancient female.  We marked her #66 and recorded morphological and scientific data to track her into the future.

Eastern Box Turtle #66 after Nesting

Female Eastern Box Turtle #66 measured 14.6 centimeters straight-line carapace length, and she weighed 566 grams after nesting.

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