Sea Turtles

Turtles are Hatching

Just on time, turtles on Hilton Head are coming out of their shells and heading to the ocean!

The first Loggerhead sea turtle babies were recorded on July 16th scurrying from two of the nests on Hilton Head.  The nesting is over, the hatching has begun.

This is what it looks like when a nest hatches.

Turtles will continue to hatch through about the end of October, but the next month or so are the best window to see them in person.   Click HERE to see a video of baby turtles that appeared in the Island Packet.

2019 was a record year for turtle nests, with 464 nests (resulting in about 33,000 hatchlings), but this year hasn’t been too bad.  At this date, Hilton Head volunteers reported 251 Loggerhead turtle nests along the beaches, which is about average.  The number of nests varies from year to year for reasons not completely understood.  The estimated number of eggs laid so far in 2020 is 18,692.

The incubation period for a Loggerhead turtle is about two months, so these eggs were laid back in May.  The nest right in front of our condo (Captains Walk 413) has not started hatching yet (as of this writing) but should be any day.  The eggs were laid around May 16th.

The best place to track sea turtle progress is at the website SeaTurtle.org.