Laying Eggs

Alerted to its presence by Dale (Facilities), I took a detour in my weekly bluebird nest box inspection Tuesday and hightailed it up to the summer camp outdoor classrooms to see if the yellow-bellied slider he reported was still there. Dale said that she was in the middle of laying eggs and I wanted to first, see who she was (I mark the nesting turtles here at the Museum), and then confirm she was indeed laying eggs. When I arrived, theRead more

Painted Turtle Nest

Top Photo: eastern painted turtle. Thanks to the vigilance of Animal Keeper Sarah, with an assist from Keeper Kent, we now have a turtle’s nest to monitor. On June 21, Keeper Sarah spotted an eastern painted turtle laying eggs next to the gravel driveway that leads to the Red Wolf Enclosure.     I placed a cage over the nest site to keep predators, such as raccoons, from digging up and eating the eggs. There are numerous sites throughout ourRead more

Turtles, Turtles, Turtles

Over the past three weeks I’ve come across 13 juvenile Yellow-bellied Turtles. I’ve either spotted them myself at known nest sites or Museum guests and staff have spied them, and in some cases, brought them to me after finding the little herps wandering around the campus. Who knows how many of the turtles have gone unseen while making their way to the Wetlands here at the Museum. How many of the turtles wander off in the wrong direction, away fromRead more

Baby Turtles at the Lemur House?

As I walked up to the Lemur House on a very busy Wednesday afternoon, I noticed several people looking down at the ground just off the entrance path. All involved were smiling, with looks of wonder and amazement on their faces. I knew that a female Yellow-bellied Slider had laid eggs very close to where everyone’s attention was focused. I rushed over to see if my hunch was correct. Sure enough, there in the pine needles that were spread across theRead more

288 Days Later!

As I walked past the northeast corner of the Wetlands, the area near the Red Wolf Enclosure, I noticed a small hole in the ground a foot or so off the path. I pass this area numerous times during a typical day and I always look down at this same spot. Why? Because last June a Yellow-bellied Slider that I’m familiar with was seen laying eggs on this very bit of landscape. As some of you know, I catch andRead more

Getting ready!

It’s that time again, spring time. It’s time to spruce up the bluebird nest boxes, do any mantainance that needs to be done on the Wood Duck/merganser nest boxes, and start thinking about turtles. All of our bluebird nest boxes (6), are being cleaned, repaired if necessary, and new data sheets printed up and ready to go. I’m a bit anxious and excited to see what happens this year. I discovered the first eggs of the season last year onRead more

What happened to the eggs, the turtles?

Above: Female yellow-bellied slider looks to see if it’s safe to come ashore to lay eggs. It was May. Aquatic turtles of various species were up and walking along the paths and woods of the Museum’s outdoor exhibits, in fact, they could be seen throughout the entire Museum grounds. They were looking for suitable nest sites. When looking for nest sites turtles most often choose sites alongside roads, paths or mulched planting beds, at least that’s where they’re most often observedRead more

Turtles Out A-laying

The Wetland’s turtles have been up and walking about the paths and woods of the Museum for the past few weeks. What are they doing? Why, laying eggs of course. There were many reports of turtles out and about during the past few weeks.   So, with all of the turtles climbing out of the water to look for nest sites, please be careful and respectful when you see them while you navigate the paths and trails of the Museum.Read more

May Herpetological Happenings

Above: After successfully laying eggs, a yellow-bellied slider heads back into the pond. At this time of year many turtles are moving up to dry land to lay eggs. They turn up in the most peculiar of places in their quest for the perfect spot in which to dig a hole and lay their eggs (According to Ornithopter Operator, John Hammons, a Yellow-bellied Slider was found on the Ornithopter one May morning). Museum staff often encounter Yellow-bellied Turtles walking downRead more

Tiny Toads, Morphing Frogs, and a Nest Robber

On the first day of June I heard Narrow-mouthed Toads calling from the Wetlands. They’re about 1-1.5 inches in length. They spend a good deal of their time in the woods in burrows or under rocks or logs so they’re tough to find visually. I heard their lamb-like “baaaa” calls coming from the Wetlands when the thunder storms of late May and early June brought them out to breed. I’ve yet to see one. There have been 12 species ofRead more