After watching the baby herons today at the Sandy Creek Park rookery (blog coming on that!!), I walked down a path taking photos of plants and flowers, ending in a spot where I wanted to check on what had happened to a moth cocoon. To my surprise and delight, when I glanced to the side, I saw a yellow-bellied slider (I think, Trachemys scripta scripta) in the process of laying her eggs.
I didn’t want to get too close but was really curious as well since this would be the first time I had seen a turtle laying eggs. So I inched a bit closer and witnessed her last egg dropping down into the nest. Happy turtle and happy me!
She immediately began covering it by pushing dampened earth over it with her hind legs and feet.
Mother turtle kept an eye on me during this process, pausing if I moved too close.
At one point, I continued along the path to give her a little privacy and came upon another turtle – perhaps also looking for a nesting site?
This turtle’s eggs will now incubate for a period of two to three months. When the babies hatch, they will likely stay near the nest during the winter, eating insects, spiders, carrion – an almost exclusively carnivorous diet. If left alone by humans and predators, they can grow up to live as long as 30 years in the wild.
I left mom to the task of covering the site and returned about 20 minutes later. She was nowhere in sight and it was only because I had seen her on the nest that I could tell where she had laid the eggs. I hope I remember the site so that I can return in a couple months and perhaps be lucky enough to see the babies emerge.
That’s so cool! I haven’t seen one either. Thanks for sharing the story and the pictures of the title laying egg!
Glad you enjoyed it, Malai. I was so pleasantly surprised that I came upon this just as she was finishing. You just never know what you will see when out nature walking, which is one of the things that makes it so enjoyable!