Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hawksbill Turtle Watch at Makena

Updated just now: The Hawksbill baby turtles did hatch and the next was excavated on Friday, 11/23/12. The last Hawksbill turtles have hatched on Maui.

The Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project is watching a turtle nest at Makena State Park, Big Beach. The baby turtles have hatched or will hatch any day now, so volunteers are camped out 24/7. This nest is the fifth one laid by a female Hawksbill turtle who returns to Maui every two years, I believe. I was lucky to watch a nest get excavated last month, and hope to blog about that soon.

Pictured below is the last Hawksbill nest on Maui for this season, ending November 2012. 

Hawksbill nest being watched by Dr. Leisure. The nest is located near the northern most life guard stand, not far from the walking path. This photo was taken on Thanksgiving, 11/22/12.

It may still be possible to see these baby turtles hatch in the next day or two if they haven’t already!  Usually the baby turtles hatch at night, when it’s cooler and head for the water.  To volunteer with this or other opportunities, visit Preserve Hawaii. Their twitter feed is more current

Hawksbill turtles are NOT the same as the green sea turtle that we commonly see in Maui waters. Hawksbill turtles, true to their name, have a curved beak like a hawk's bill.  

Here's more information about Hawksbill turtles by Dr. Leisure. The video is nine minutes long, and gets more informative in the fourth minute.


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