Last week, my lab partner and I went out to our field site to see if last year’s hatchlings had emerged yet from their nests. The female pond turtles lay their eggs in the early summer (June is the most active month at our site), and the eggs hatch approximately three months later. There is evidence that young don’t leave the nest, though, until after the winter, something we were able to confirm on our excursion today!
We were fortunate in being at the site at exactly the right time this year. We visited a few of the nests we’d located last summer, and found babies emerging from some of them. The sort of blurry photo shows the hole they had dug for themselves to emerge – I know it’s a crappy photo, but that really is a baby turtle inside. We also found a couple that were just in the process of coming out of the ground. It was a pretty amazing thing to witness.