This week started off quite a bit rocky but it didn’t stop us from checking every trap, empty or not. With nesting season starting, we had anticipated that we were not going to trap as many turtles. This made each turtle we sampled that much more special.
Bill is intensely observing Nick in action as he demonstrates how to draw blood from this sassy Snapping Turtle.
Blanding’s Turtles are long-lived animals and do not reach sexual maturity until 14-20 years of age. Mating typically occurs in April to early May, and nesting taking place from early June to early July.
As the weather becomes ideal, our turtles are starting to make the move to shore to find the perfect spot to lay their eggs before scooting their way back to the water. While nesting sounds amazing, it doesn’t come easy. There are many challenges these determined mothers have to endure, such as, heat, fighting dehydration, predators, being transported, and potential hazards due to traffic or machinery. They can also travel up to two miles over land to their nesting location to lay their clutch, which can range from 10-26 eggs.
If you stumble upon a nest or have property where turtles are present, do not disturb the nest or their habitat. Turtles that are not in imminent danger should be left undisturbed, however, if you suspect that the turtle(s) or nest is in danger, contact your local county forest preserve.
Along with trying to keep our morale high, the marshes had other plans for Surina and Bill. Earlier in the week, Surina got into a fight with a rock. Long story short, the rock won. Bill, on the other hand, got hit in the eye after dodging all the dangling branches in the marsh where a turtle decided to hide in. We are both okay and did not let what happened to us stop us from getting back into the field asap.
Here, Surina is examining the face of a Blanding’s Turtle ft. her leg wrapped up in hopes of avoiding hitting her leg on any more rocks.
Now for our weekly tallies.
Total Turtles Sampled: 14
Surina’s Fall Count: 3
How many times did Surina Flood her Waders: 0
Surina – 0 Rock – 1
What did the cow say to the turtle?