Hatchling Releases

Photo by Teresa Shumaker.

Photo by Teresa Shumaker.

Hatchling season varies, depending on when the nests are laid. It can begin as early as June and run into August. Public hatchling releases are held at 6:45 a.m. at County Beach Access 3 (approximately ½ mile north of Sea Turtle, Inc). Hatching dates are ESTIMATED… only the hatchlings can decide when they are ready to go! Hatchling season varies, depending on when the nests are laid.

 

How to see a Public Hatchling Release.

(new instructions for 2018!)

It is impossible to predict when the hatchlings will emerge from their nest cavity! 

Not all hatchling releases are open to the public. Hatchlings can only be released when they are in an active state (known as a frenzy). When the hatchlings frenzy in the middle of the night, the hatchlings are released on the isolated northern beaches by trained staff members. These releases are not open to the public. When they frenzy at dawn (between 5-6am), we host a public release. Usually notice for public releases is an hour and a half before the release.

There are two ways to find out if there will be a public hatching release:

Become a Member!

Membership to Sea Turtle, Inc. has a lot of great perks! One of these is text notifications for every sea turtle release!

or

 "Like" us on Facebook!

We update our Facebook page at 5:30am when there will be a release.

If you are coming to town specifically to try to see a hatchling release, please select a range of dates where several nests are due to hatch. This will increase your chances of seeing an early morning release. We post estimated hatching dates on the nest activity page, so you can plan your trip accordingly.

WE NO LONGER HAVE A HATCHLING HOTLINE. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Hatchling Releases:

 

Why aren't public hatchling releases planned in advance?

 Hatchlings can only be released when they are in an active state (known as a frenzy). When the hatchlings frenzy in the middle of the night, the hatchlings are released on the isolated northern beaches by trained staff members. Sea turtle hatchlings use the light of the moon to navigate from the beach to the ocean. Condo and restaurant lights confuse the babies, so they must be taken north, away from these lights. Nighttime release are not open to the public for the safety of the hatchlings. When they frenzy at dawn (between 5-6am), we host a public release. 

 

Why can't we save the hatchlings until day time and release them?

When baby sea turtles hatch, they absorb a yolk sac that supplies them with energy for the first couple days of their life. This energy allows them to crawl down the beach and into the water until they can find food and shelter (typically in sargassum seaweed). Holding the hatchlings for several hours is a waste of vital energy needed for these babies to swim out to their floating habitat, which can be several miles offshore. 

 

How much advance notice can I receive, in the event of a release?

Since we can only do public releases for babies that hatch around 5am-6am, we typically can give notice about 1 hour in advance. We post expected hatchlings dates HERE. 

 

Where is County Access 3?

County Access 3 is located 1/2 mile north of Sea Turtle, Inc. It is after Andy Bowie County Park but before The Shores. 

 

Can I volunteer at a hatchling release?

Due to strict Federal and State laws, only individuals that are listed on our permits can help with the releases. These individuals are trained staff members and long-term volunteer patrollers. 

 ALL HATCHLINGS HAVE BEEN RELEASE FOR THE 2018 SEASON!

 

Check out the calendar below to see the 2018 hatchling estimates!

To receive text message and email invitations to our public hatchling releases, become a member!

 

Hatchling Releases on Video