Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchling Video at Seaside

September 29, 2011 by Danny Burns

This is a video of a rarely seen event. 94 Loggerhead turtles leaving the safety of their nest and making a beeline to the Gulf of Mexico. This is called a "boil". The screen on the nest is to protect it from predators like dogs, coyotes and foxes.

Red lights are used on the beach during turtle nesting season because turtles don't see that part of the light spectrum. No one should ever use white light flashlights on the beach during nesting season. It can temporarily blind the hatchlings and could draw them to you as they always head toward any light they see on the beach.

Comments from South Walton Sea Turtle Watch Director Sharon Maxwell:

I went down about 5:30 to take a look and as soon as I got there, the sand began to fall, causing the indentation to grow bigger.After about an hour and half of the sand slowly sliding into the nest, a bubble began to form in the middle as the hatchlings pushed to the surface. Slowly, one by one the turtles began to poke their heads through the sand. At one point a dozen turtles were halfway out of the ground, motionless for about 20 minutes as the others pushed upward. One flipper began to move and they erupted to the surface. The hatchlings pushed sand from all the sides of the nest cavity downward into a funnel shape.

Possibly a 100 hatchlings then scurried to the water. Seaside security was able to get the lights turned out and with the exception of a couple hatchlings who took the scenic route, nearly all of them made it to the water in 10 minutes or less. Bobby, Ann, Danny,Marla, Alan, and Arlene, Dan and Marie all did a great job ensuring the hatchlings safety as there was quite a few tourists on the beach. A great success! 94 hatchlings escaped from the nest.


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