Rescued Eastern Box Turtle Hatchlings Emerge

First EBT Hatchling 2010 001 cropped 480

Pipped Eastern Box Turtle Hatchling

This afternoon we checked a rescued Eastern Box Turtle nest relocated on June 1st to Turtle Journal headquarters.  Tom Richardson and his family spotted a female Eastern Box Turtle laying a nest at the edge of the Route 6 highway in Mattapoisett, across the street from the Old Rochester Regional High School.  Tom alerted Don Lewis who excavated seven eggs and transplanted the nest into a protected sanctuary at Turtle Journal.

first ebt hatchling 2010 000 480

Rescued Eastern Box Turtle Nest

At the 60-day incubation mark, we had checked the eggs which appeared plump and developing nicely.  We probed the nest again today and found two hatchlings that had pipped with forelimbs poking through the eggshells.  The pipped eggs are top left in the picture and direct center.  The egg on the middle right did not develop and was removed to avoid insect depredation as the other eggs pip.

first ebt hatchling 2010 006 480

Don Lewis Examines Pipping EBT Hatchling

To our eyes there’s something beautiful and strange about a headless white egg sprouting two hands that wave about the air in search of freedom.

first ebt hatchling 2010 008 480

Two Pipped Box Turtle Hatchlings; Four to Come

As the summer sun shines this weekend, we expect the other four viable eggs to pip and the two pipped hatchlings to fully emerge.  The pipped babies are resting in a warm, moist container in the Turtle Journal sunroom.

DBT hatchlings 13 Aug 2010 001 480

Sue Wieber Nourse’s Handful of Terrapin Hatchlings

While we celebrate our first South Coast Eastern box turtle hatchlings of the year, we are still rescuing multiple dozens of diamondback terrapin hatchlings from nests on Wellfleet’s Lieutenant Island each day.  Sue Wieber Nourse patroled the entire island today, finding hatchlings emerging from protected nests and from wild nests.  Tiny turtle tracks crisscross the roadways and dunes.  While Boston and New York are on Eastern Time and Chicago is on Central, Cape Cod is definitely on Turtle Time from now through the end of September.

Comments are closed.