Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hatchlings in a backpack

Brett began to dig up a clutch which we saw had emerged the previous night so that he could measure the success. As he began there were a couple live hatchlings then more and more until we reached 20. Therefore, some of the hatchlings from this clutch emerged last night, while these ones must have been waiting for the next night when the temperature would drop again. In order to get more data we decided to take them back to measure and weigh them. All we had with us was our backpack so we emptied it and filled it with hatchlings. They were all flapping and excited to be out of their dark nest of sand. Back at camp I measured and weighed the hatchlings while Brett recorded. I love working with the hatchlings, it is such a delight. After, we finished obtaining the information we needed we took the hatchlings back to the edge of the water. On your marks, get set, go!...As I put them on the ground it was a race to the water. Some weren’t so sure at first and needed time to get used to the surroundings, while others made a dash to the water. Luckily we were there because as soon as the local birds saw them scurrying around, they flew down to see if they could get a snack. First a big whistling kite flew over. It got so close I thought he was going to fly down and take them out of my hand. We were able to keep the birds away while the hatchlings were on the beach. Unfortunately, once the hatchlings were in the water we couldn’t keep the terns from taking 3 of them. Life and death is another cycle here on Crab…it can be sad but you can see that nature has its own way. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with the hatchlings and female turtles - I really see the whole life cycle and it is breathtakingly beautiful.

1 comment:

Julia said...

Hey Kelsey and Brett!
You've traded sweet juicy peaches for the cutest little turtles. Congratulations on all your research success. The wildlife looks amazing. Talk to you soon.
Tim, Julia and Gunner