When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs? What Month&Time of Day

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their EggsWatching sea turtles lay their eggs is quite a sight, enjoyed by many around the world.

If you’re interested in watching this yearly phenomenon, make sure you carefully time your visit according to when the sea turtles lay their eggs.

In this article we will compare Different Sea turtle nesting seasons around the globe, Not only we will see when they lay their eggs in various parts of USA but also in Mexico ,Sri Lanka & Costa Rica.

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs?

Most female sea turtles lay their eggs during the warmer months of around May until September in the Northern Hemisphere. However, these months vary according to the location and type of turtle. In the tropics, it’s possible for them to nest year round, and in the Southern Hemisphere, they tend to nest during the warmer months of October to February or so.

They most often come ashore during the night at high tide except for some of the smaller species that may nest during the day. Since digging the sand is very difficult and awkward for these marine creatures, turtles may take the whole night to finish digging their nest and laying their eggs.

at what time sea turtles lay their eggs

Where Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs

Sea turtles lay their eggs in large two-feet holes they dig with their back flippers. They actually dig several nests throughout the nesting season. After depositing their eggs in their nest, called a clutch, turtles then cover the eggs with sand to protect them from predators as well as to keep them moist and at a stable temperature. The temperature of the sand determines whether the baby turtles will be mostly male or female. Warm sand produces more females while cooler sand produces more males. Sea turtles must time their nesting right so that they produce a fairly equal number of males and females.

How Long Until Sea Turtle Eggs Hatch

Sea turtle eggs must incubate for around sixty days before hatching. The warmer the weather, the sooner they are ready to hatch. After hatching and digging out of the sand together, the baby one-inch to three-inch long turtles race towards the ocean where the males will remain ever after. The females will grow up to one day return to the same beach they were born on to lay their own eggs.

How Many Eggs Do Sea Turtles Lay

Sea turtles, also called marine turtles, lay a range of fifty to as many as two hundred eggs in each clutch. The exact number depends on the species of turtle as well as on factors such as the available food supply to the mother. Laying eggs uses up a lot of calories, so the less food a female turtle has had access to, the fewer eggs she will lay.

Female sea turtles also tend to lay eggs more than once in each nesting season. In fact, some female turtles lay eggs up to nine times in one season. In their lifetime, sea turtles can lay up to 2,300 eggs. A female has to lay this many since only around one turtle hatchling in 1,000 survives until adulthood.

Turtle Eggs – From Laying till Hatching

When Do Different Species of Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs

Let’s explore the Most common Sea turtle species & and when they are most likely to lay their eggs – their clutch sizes,how often they nest and where you might expect to see them.

When Do Green Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs?

Like many other sea turtles, the green sea turtle digs her nest at night where she lays an average of 110 eggs. The black subspecies of green turtles lays anywhere from 65 to 90 eggs. These sea turtles generally nest three to five times each nesting season which takes place during the warmer months. Of course the exact months may vary according to the part of the world they nest in—and they nest all over! For instance, on the Carribean side of Costa Rica, they nest from around June to November while in French Guiana in South America, they nest from March to June. On the other hand, in the Galapagos Islands, they nest from December to March.

The green sea turtle is recognized for its brown and yellow markings on its head and its black and olive shell. These marine turtles usually range from three to five feet long and are not named for the color of their shell, called a carapace, but are named for the green color of their fat. The black sea turtles, also called the Pacific green sea turtles, have a black or dark grey carapace.

When Do Loggerhead Sea Turtles Lay Eggs?

Like other species of sea turtles, loggerheads prefer to nest at night and may complete a nest in one to two hours, depositing around 122 eggs in each clutch. Like other species of turtles, these eggs will take around sixty days to incubate. Warm weather speeds up this process, causing loggerhead eggs to incubate faster. Loggerheads nest in different months in each area they inhabit. Generally in the Northern Hemisphere, the nesting season is from around May to August or September, while in the Southern Hemisphere it ranges from around October to March.

As the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtle species, loggerheads have an oversized head and jaw with a brown or reddish-colored shell. These turtles are the most common sea turtle in the Southeastern United States.

When Do Leatherback Sea Turtles Lay Eggs?

Leatherbacks, the largest of the sea turtles, nest at slightly different times depending on the climate at the site of their nesting. In the Carribean islands, nesting can start as early as March and goes until at least June and sometimes up to August. Those that migrate to places in the Southern Hemisphere nest from around September to March. When they nest, like other turtles, they’ll often create several clutches and bury their eighty or so eggs into sand nests they dig at night, preferably under a full moon.

Carrying a soft, flexible shell, leatherback turtles have seven ridges on their shell which are dark with lighter spots. Leatherbacks are the largest of the sea turtles today and can grow up to six feet or larger. The longest measured more than eight feet and weighed over 2,000 pounds!

When Do Flatback Sea Turtles Lay Eggs?

Contrary to other species of turtles, flatback sea turtles actually lay their eggs during both day and night. Also unusual is their habit of only breeding in Australia and of not migrating across open oceans. Depending on the location of their nesting site, they may breed during the warmer months of November through January or even throughout the whole year. They also lay far fewer eggs than most of their cousins with only around 54 eggs in each clutch.

As their name would imply, these turtles are distinguishable by their smooth, almost flat-looking shells. Their whole body is of a green or sometimes greenish-grey color and they can grow up to three feet in length.

When Do Hawksbill Sea Turtles Lay Eggs?

Like flatback sea turtles, hawksbills lay eggs during both the day and night. They tend to prefer nesting under vegetation where they may nest three or four times, laying an average of 130 eggs in each clutch. The nesting months may vary slightly but range from around May to October in the Carribean, and mostly from October to January or February in the Southern Hemisphere.

These turtles range in size from around two to four feet in length and weigh around 100 to 150 pounds. Hawksbill sea turtles almost became extinct because of overhunting for their beautiful shell with its intricate design of green or brown, and black.

When Do Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles Lay Eggs?

The Kemp’s ridley actually seem to prefer the day for laying their eggs, unlike most other species of turtles. They usually nest in the Gulf of Mexico during the warmer months from around April or May through as late as October. When it’s time to lay their eggs, Kemp’s ridley come ashore in the hundreds in what’s called arribadas, meaning “arrival.” In each egg cavity, they lay approximately 110 eggs. These are actually the only species of marine turtles in which the females tend to nest every year.

Kemp’s ridley turtles were named for Richard Kemp, the man who first seriously studied them. These turtles are quite small with the adults only reaching around two feet long in size. Their oval-shaped shells are usually dark and greyish green in color.

When Do Olive Ridley Sea Turtles Lay Eggs?

Although nesting can occur all year around, Olive ridley sea turtles often lay eggs from around June to December, but this also varies according to the area they nest in. In places in India, nesting season goes from November to May while in Sri Lanka, the highest number of nests are laid from November to February. Like Kemp’s ridleys, they are also famous for their arribadas when they nest in groups of hundreds or more. These turtles prefer to stay in warmer water and their nesting habits reflect this since they only lay eggs on tropical or subtropical nesting sites. Each clutch contains an average of 110 eggs. Although they are similar to Kemp’s ridley sea turtles in their nesting habits in some ways, these turtles tend to prefer nesting at night like other larger species of sea turtles.

Along with Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley turtles are very small, weighing only up to 100 pounds and range from two to two and a half feet in length. Its green shell and skin gives the olive ridley its name.

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs in Popular Tourist Destinations

Let’s explore the most Common places you would be able to see Sea turtles and when they would lay their eggs there.

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs in Mexico

The best time to visit Mexico if you would like to see sea turtles lay their eggs is sometime from May or June until November. The peak months of nesting though, are around August through October. In Mexico, you can find a variety of species of sea turtles from large green sea turtles and loggerheads, to the smaller Kemp’s ridley and olive ridley turtles. Some of the important nesting beaches include Escobilla for Olive ridley’s, the Yucatan peninsula for loggerheads, green sea turtles, and hawksbills, Rancho Nuevo for Kemp’s ridleys, and the states of Oaxaca and Michoacan for the giant leatherbacks.

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs in Cancun

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, Cancun is a great place to see sea turtles lay their eggs. Between May until around September or October is probably the best time to visit this city to watch sea turtles lay their eggs. The turtles that come ashore to nest are the large green and loggerhead sea turtles as well as the beautiful hawksbill turtles.

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs in Florida

Sea turtles lay their eggs in Florida as early as March until as late as October. Various species nest at slightly different times within this range. For instance the giant leatherback sea turtles begin to nest in March, loggerheads in April, and green sea turtles in May. Some popular beaches in Florida to watch turtles nest include Dania Beach, Vero Beach, Melbourne Beach, and North Palm Beach.

Loggerheads are huge fans of Florida. In fact, this state is one of the top three loggerhead nesting sites in the world! If you join a sea turtle walk, you’ll be watching loggerheads. Since the other species are considered endangered in this area, people are not allowed to watch the nesting for fear of disturbing the females laying eggs. Female sea turtles sometimes do what is called a “false crawl” where they crawl onto the beach and end up not laying their eggs. Some think it’s possible that being disturbed by humans may lead to more false crawls.

When do sea turtles lay eggs in florida

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs in North & South Carolina

For both South and North Carolina, the main time turtles nest is from May to August and sometimes even until September. Usually the peak time for nesting is around June or July when the turtles (mostly loggerheads) nest in the greatest numbers. Virtually all of the turtles will come ashore at night to bury their eggs.

Loggerheads are the most common sea turtles you’ll find in North and South Carolina. Still, every year there are usually some green turtles and leatherbacks, and even the occasional Kemp’s ridley. There have also been reports of some hawksbill sea turtles coming ashore to nest in North Carolina, but this is very rare.

In these states, nesting occurs mainly along the barrier islands, but also on some beaches. Some popular nesting sights for sea turtles in South Carolina include Cape Island, Lighthouse Island, and South Island. Important nesting sites in North Carolina include Cape Lookout National Seashore and Cape Hatteras National Seashore. In years past, South Carolina has seen much greater numbers of nesting turtles than North Carolina. Still, both states contain key nesting beaches for sea turtles.

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs in Hawaii

From around May to as late as October, sea turtles come to Hawaii to lay their eggs. Contrary to eastern United States, the most common sea turtle in Hawaii is the green sea turtle which almost all nest on the Northwestern Hawaii Islands. Hawksbills, another sea turtle to frequent these Pacific islands, only nest on the Main Hawaiian islands. There have even been a very few olive ridley’s spotted in Hawaii. Occasionally, a few sea turtles do randomly decide to nest on a new beach instead of their natal beach. When this happens, after a few generations, they may begin to colonize that new beach and return every year in greater and greater numbers.

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is called home by olive ridleys, green sea turtles, hawksbills, loggerheads, and leatherbacks. Green turtles and olive ridleys are far more prevalent than the other species in this island nation. Green turtles tend to nest mainly from February to April while olive ridleys more often nest from around November to March. As far as location goes, sea turtles may lay their eggs in sites all over the Sri Lakan coast, but prefer the south and west of the country.

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs in Costa Rica

Four types of sea turtles call Costa Rica home, including leatherback, green, hawksbill, and olive ridley. The time of year these sea turtles lay their eggs depends on whether the turtles nest on the Carribean side or the Pacific side of the country. For example, in Playa Grande, which is on the Pacific side, leatherbacks may nest in the months of October through March. On the other hand, in Tortuguero, leatherbacks nest from around February through July.

Green turtles nest during the night from around June to November on the Carribean coast and throughout the year on the Pacific side with the peak months from December to February. In the Nicoya Peninsula, olive ridley arribadas (when they come to shore in large groups) happen most often from June to December but individual turtles may also nest year round. In Ballena National Marine Park, hawksbills and olive ridleys may be seen nesting from around May through November.

Generally, sea turtles like to nest during warm weather and at night. Of course, since you can find sea turtles in so many different places around the globe, it varies greatly when exactly they will nest. In the Northern Hemisphere, March to September is fairly typical, while in the Southern Hemisphere, November to February is more likely. Regardless of their nesting location, these beautiful sea creatures time their nesting just right to give the greatest chance of survival to their offspring.

Related Questions:

How Often Do Sea Turtles Lay Eggs?

With the exception of Kemp’s ridleys, female sea turtles don’t go through the arduous task of migrating to nesting sites to bury their eggs every year. Instead they usually nest from around every two to every seven years. In one nesting season though, female turtles may lay around two to as many as seven clutches.

When Is Sea Turtle Mating Season?

Generally, the mating season for each species of turtles will occur one to two months before female turtles lay eggs. Actually this fact was somewhat debated since it was thought that female sea turtles could store sperm for several years. Today though, it’s generally accepted that female turtles mate around one or two months before laying their first clutch of eggs and that females are reproductively active for around a week to a week and a half during mating season.

What Month Do Sea Turtles Hatch in Florida?

Sea turtles typically hatch around sixty days after their mother lays the eggs. This means that in Florida, you can see sea turtles hatching from around the beginning of May until around November and even into December.

How Many Baby Sea Turtles Make It to the Ocean?

How many baby sea turtles make it to the ocean depends on how many survive the multitude of threats they face such as hungry crabs and seabirds, and weather changes. Some hatchlings are also lost when their siblings rush to dig themselves out of the nest. These hatchlings remain trapped in the sand and die. Nevertheless, many more baby turtles make it to the ocean than make it through the rest of their life until adulthood. Scientists predict that only one in one thousand sea turtle hatchlings will survive until adulthood.

How Far Do Sea Turtles Travel to Lay Eggs?

It’s a well-documented fact that most sea turtles, with the exception of flatbacks, travel hundreds and even thousands of miles to where they nest. Green sea turtles usually travel farther than 1,500 miles and leatherbacks average 3,700 miles each way from their feeding grounds to their nesting grounds. The longest recorded migration is of a leatherback that traveled from Indonesia to Oregon, a journey of over 12,000 miles.