How to See Sea Turtles

How to See Sea Turtles?

Mariah Cox, Communications Intern

Sea Turtles begin to lay their nests on Bald Head Island in mid-May up until early-August. After a 45-70 day incubation period, the nests begin to hatch mid-July to late-September.

The Bald Head Island Conservancy offers three different ways for you, your friends, and your family to view sea turtles throughout the different stages of their reproductive life cycle.

1. Turtle Walks occur every night throughout the summer from 9:00PM to midnight. Turtle Walks are a great way to witness a mother sea turtle crawling up onto the beach, digging a hole for her nest, laying her eggs, camouflaging the nest with sand, and making her way back to the ocean. Later in the summer, we can expect to start seeing nests hatch, also known as a boil. Boils typically happen during the night time, which make Turtle Walks a prime time to catch a nest hatching! Turtle Walks are exclusively for members of the Bald Head Island Conservancy. To find out more about our memberships, please click here.

2. Beach Patrol Ride Alongs are another great way to explore the beaches at night and potentially seeing a mother laying her nest or spotting a boil! Unlike Turtle Walks, Beach Patrol Ride Alongs are open to everyone, non-members and members. Beach Patrol Ride Alongs provide a unique experience that allows up to a group of four to ride along with our Sea Turtle Interns patrolling the beaches at night. Participants get a firsthand glimpse into the lives of the Sea Turtles Interns and the tasks that go along with our Sea Turtle Protection Program.

3. Nest Excavations occur three days after a nest boils and are free and open to the public. Excavations provide a unique opportunity for attendees to witness hatchlings, that didn’t make it out of the nest during the boil, crawl to the ocean with the help of the Sea Turtle Interns and Conservancy Staff. The dates for the excavations will be posted here when nests start to hatch.
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