In the summer I turtle sat a nest for a night. When you nest sit for turtles, you stay a night at the beach and watch a turtle nest and make sure that if the nest hatches that all the turtles get to the ocean.
When a turtle lays a nest on the beach, it leaves tracks from the ocean to the nest. In the morning, volunteers drive up the beach to see if they find turtle tracks. If the nest is too close to the water, the refuge will move the nest to a safe spot further in so the nests don’t get washed out by the ocean water. The refuge builds a cage around the nest so that it is harder for animals to get to it.
When I got to the beach the night we nest sat, we created a runway to clear a path for the hatchlings so crabs can’t get to them.
Turtle eggs normally hatch when the weather is lower temperatures and at night or near dusk. After we cleared the path, we set up some chairs behind the nest. We checked up on the nest for a depression in the sand about every 30 minutes. When we checked on the nest, we had to use a red flashlight because turtles are attracted to light and the red flashlight was dark. We looked for a depression because that’s what happens when the eggs are hatching. The eggs crush in when the turtles hatch which makes the sand fall down. That night I went we never saw them hatch. The came a few days later on a night when we got a really bad storm.
After a few days of the turtle hatching, the refuge comes out and excavates the nest. They dig the nest up and check for any turtles that have hatched but haven’t come out, they count the broken egg shells, and they count the eggs that haven’t hatched. I saw lots of broken eggs and two baby turtles that were still in the nest.
Here are videos of the hatchlings going to the ocean.