And just like that, our first week of the season has come to and end and boy has it been an adventure.
We started off the week with the amazing Dr. Laura and Sam helping us catch a mix of Blandings, Painted, and Snapping turtles. Our Kane Co field Biologist Bill was amazing and placed traps for us prior to starting our day on Monday. We also have a big shout out to Sadie, our other field worker, for teaching us how to set up traps.
Nick and Surina are all smiles on the first day of field season as they walk through the marsh in hopes of finding turtles.
Throughout this week, we learned how to do a full physical, gather data efficiently, walk through the marsh without falling (mostly), and how to get a turtle to peak out of their shell when they are extra shy.
The highlight of the week was when we were able to sample 3 headstarts that were going to be released with receivers attached to their shells so that they can be tracked down later with radio-telemetry. Each tiny turtle had a different personality, one of them is shown below.
Thursday was the first day Nick and I were one our own to collect sample data and each of the turtles we caught which was exciting. Our patience was tested with the first turtle we caught as she was clammed up for almost an hour but we eventually got her to come out of her shell so we could see more than her nares. Between Thursday and Friday, we sampled 10 turtles together which is amazing. By the end of the week, we got into a rhythm of how we catch, sample, release, and conduct our lab work.
Here’s Surina showing us how we use calipers to collect shell measurements on a Blandings turtle.
Overall, week 1 has been amazing and we are excited for what this summer has in store for us. We are ready to catch lots of turtle and get our marsh legs.
Before starting our Monday Marsh, Bill found a shopping cart that was near our site and pushed it out of plants towards the sidewalk #NotAllHerosWearCapes
Now for our week tally:
Total Turtles Sampled: 32
Surina’s Fall Count: 4
How many times did Surina Flood her Waders: 1
Before we finish our post, I leave you with a joke.
What did the taco say to the turtle?
I like your shell.
One of the Blandings turtles we sampled