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Turtle Watching

At some point in our lives, we may have watched a television show or documentary about sea turtles, their lives, habitats, egg laying and hatching process. On your next vacation to Bald Head Island, you could possibly be lucky enough to see it happen in real life. Bald Head Island is a popular spot for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle to come and visit. Around the months of May and June, the female loggerheads will come inland onto Bald Head Island’s shores to dig a nest, lay their eggs and then cover them using their flippers. The females will typically lay anywhere from 30 to 50 eggs. By the late summer months of August and September, it will be time for the eggs to hatch and for the turtles to begin pushing their way up out of their sandy nest. They’ll use the natural light of the moon as a path to guide them down to the water and take their very first dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

Because of their endangered status, it is vital that the egg laying and hatching process from start to finish is heavily monitored for the loggerhead’s continued protection and continuity. Many organizations exist that will monitor the egg laying process and then will guard the nests 24/7 until the eggs hatch. These devoted professionals will also ensure that the hatchlings have the best chance possibly in making it to the ocean in the most natural and undisturbed way possible. Educating interested individuals on the loggerhead sea turtle is important in helping to keep them from becoming extinct and to hopefully one day remove them from the endangered species list.

The Bald Head Island Conservancy offers Turtle Walks, where visitors can participate during the summer season. Guests may have the opportunity to possibly see the females laying their eggs or the chance to see the hatchlings making their way out of the nest. If you participate in one of these walks, you’ll get some excellent information and education on the loggerhead sea turtle, as these walks are led by the Conservancy’s naturalist and also knowledgeable interns. These Turtle Watches are highly recommended as an exciting and worthwhile vacation activity that can give you something to talk about for years to come. Slots for the walks are limited and fill up fast so please remember to use Bald Head Island Rentals’ 5-star guest services to make any arrangements you may need.

To fully protect the endangered loggerhead sea turtle, it is requested by the Conservancy that guests do not disturb any turtle nests that may be found on the beach. Fines can be administered up to $100,000 for anyone disturbing these turtles or nests in any way, as this is a federally protected species. An additional request by the Conservancy is to please switch off all deck lights at night and keep off until morning. Since hatchlings use the moonlight to chart a path towards the ocean, they can become confused and crawl inland towards unnatural light if seen and can perish. Please help us protect this amazing endangered species by learning more about the loggerhead sea turtle on your next visit to Bald Head Island.

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Bald Head Island Office
Mailing Address: PO Box 3012, Bald Head Island, NC 28461
Phone: 910-457-1702
E-Mail: Rentals
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm daily