2021 Sea Turtle Nest Updates
As nests are identified this season, we will provide updates from the Tybee Island Sea Turtle Project here.
Follow along and check back often for the latest information and nest counts.
May 18, 2021
Tybee’s first loggerhead sea turtle nest of the season has been identified! Spotted by volunteers Cathy, Gina and Brent.
May 26, 2021
Nest #2 was found. The eggs were relocated away from the high tide line. Thanks to volunteers Anna, Susan and Brent for covering dawn patrol this morning. We were also able to watch the Marco Polo make it’s way up the river channel.
May 30, 2021
Nest #3 was found on the morning of May 30th.
June 1, 2021
Two more nests were located this morning. Both tracks were challenging to work, but we are happy to report that nests 4 and 5 are marked. If you are lucky enough to see a mama turtle nesting on the beach be sure to view from a distance. Disturbing the tracks or putting objects on the nest area makes it very difficult to read the field signs needed to locate the egg chamber. We need to see the tracks where the mama turtle enters and exits the pit area. Please avoid stepping on those areas. You can also help us by filling in holes dug on the beach and keeping the beaches dark.
June 12, 2021
We have nest #6! Volunteers found the crawl with a broken egg on top. Unfortunately, a ghost crab had already found the nest and eaten nine of the eggs. Hopefully we’ll be getting more nests soon!
June 13, 2021
We had a really busy morning this morning with two sea turtle crawls. One mama left her nest extremely high up in the dunes, after starting a body pit lower on the beach. The other crawl showed some signs of being a nest but after a long time of searching, our volunteers were not able to locate the egg chamber. We’ve marked this nest to keep an eye on it just in case.
June 14, 2021
Another day, another two crawls! One was a false crawl, meaning she decided not to nest. There did not appear to be any signs of disturbance, she just decided to wait. The other crawl was a nest.
June 21, 2021
Nest #9 was found today. The nest had to be relocated to a higher spot.
June 26, 2021
We had a busy morning. False crawl and we located nest 10!
June 27, 2021
We found nest #11 this morning. This mama spent a great deal of time in the dunes after nesting, before making her way back to the ocean.
July 2, 2021
A crawl was reported on the Back River by the fishing pier. It was investigated and sure enough a loggerhead had left a nest too low on the beach. Since the nest was going to have to be relocated, with permission from DNR, the eggs were removed and carefully transported via kayak to an area on the front side of the beach. This makes nest #12 for Tybee.
July 6, 2021
Nest #13 was located this morning. Volunteer Frank covered the entire beach and found the crawl at the very end of his survey. We did have to relocate the nest to a higher spot.
July 8, 2021
Tropical Storm Elsa did not stop our mama sea turtles. Nest #14 was found this morning as well as a false crawl.
July 11, 2021
A crawl was found on Saturday, but we were unable to locate the egg chamber. The area is marked as Possible Nest #2. We will monitor for the next 50-70 days.
July 19, 2021
Tybee Island now has 16 loggerhead sea turtle nests. The last two were found yesterday. Both nests had to be relocated to a higher spot on the beach.
July 26, 2021
Nest #17 was found today! Thanks to Allen & Jane for walking this morning and finding this nest.
August 1, 2021
Our hatching season has officially begun! This morning we inventoried nest #1, located near the Tybee Pier. This nest hatched days ago and per DNR protocol, it was excavated by permitted volunteers. We conduct these inventories to collect data on how many eggs hatched and if there are any live babies, they’ll be released. Today we had 82 hatched eggs, and 4 live babies in the nest cavity. This was a very successful nest and we were happy to celebrate their birthdays with them! Go Tybee turtles!
August 4, 2021
Nest 2 was inventoried tonight after hatching on its own days ago. There were 108 hatched eggs and 5 unhatched eggs. Mark Dodd, GA DNR sea turtle biologist, came to the excavation as well! We’re off to a great hatching season Please remember to keep the beaches dark at night so our babies can get safely to the water.
August 6, 2021
Nest #4 was inventoried tonight after successfully hatching on its own 5 days ago. Per DNR protocol, our permitted volunteers dug up the nest to count the eggs and determine hatching success. There were 103 hatched eggs and 6 unhatched. There were no babies left, meaning they were all able to get out on their own!
August 15, 2021
Nest #8 was inventoried tonight after successfully hatching on its own 5 days ago. Per DNR protocol, our permitted volunteers dug up the nest to count the eggs and determine hatching success. There were 101 hatched eggs and 10 unhatched. We had one live baby left, meaning the rest were all able to get out on their own! Our little straggler was greeted with a beautiful rainbow for his birthday!
August 17, 2021
Nest #6 was inventoried last night. We found 7 live babies in the nest and released them into the ocean. This nest struggled with ghost crabs throughout the incubation period and was washed over once. There were 49 unhatched eggs and 56 hatched eggs. Volunteers are permitted through GADNR.
August 23, 2021
Nest #7 was inventoried today after successfully hatching on its own days ago. Per DNR protocol, our permitted volunteers dug up the nest to count the eggs and determine hatching success. There were 94 hatched eggs and 4 unhatched. We had one live baby left. It was released back into the ocean.
August 25, 2021
Nest 10 was inventoried today after hatching naturally 5 days ago. Tybee Island Maritime Academy students were invited to observe the process and were surprised with 5 live babies in the nest! This nest had 84 hatched eggs, & 13 unhatched. We were so excited to share this with the students today and help educate about sea turtles and what we do as volunteers!
August 26, 2021
This morning on dawn patrol, our volunteers did a super excellent job looking for sea turtle field signs and noticed the tiniest of little baby tracks in the sand. This was not a nest we had marked! This was initially listed as a false crawl and was actually a nest laid back in June! This sea turtle mama did her job really well and hid those eggs from our experienced experts. This means Tybee officially has its 18th nest as of today!
August 30, 2021
Nest 9 was excavated today after hatching on its own previously. This nest had been washed over during its incubation period. There were 73 hatched eggs and 42 unhatched in this nest.
September 2, 2021
This afternoon we inventoried nest #13, which hatched naturally on its own 5 days ago. There was one little straggler left behind, happy to greet the staff and their kids from the Tybee Island Maritime Academy.
September 12, 2021
Nest #16 was inventoried today after successfully hatching on its own 5 days ago. Per DNR protocol, our permitted volunteers dug up the nest to count the eggs and determine hatching success. We had 15 live babies left in the nest. They were released back into the ocean.
October 7, 2021
Tybee wrapped up the 2021 sea turtle season with the inventory of our last nest on Monday. We had a great season with a count of 19 loggerhead sea turtle nest and about 2,018 eggs deposited on our beach. We are happy to report that 100% of our nests emerged. I would like to thank our wonderful, dedicated turtle volunteers for their hard work all season long.