This baby turtle is doomed!

Today is turtle-hatching day at our house.  I found a dozen or so scattering to the various water bodies around here, from their eggs buried under the driveway.  Doomed because turtles are declining in population so you can assume that from an average female fewer than two babies survive to reproduce (otherwise the population would grow).  So out of an average of 40 eggs per year for 40 years of reproduction, only 1 in 800 survive to have their own offspring.  Pretty bad odds I think.  Once they get to be mature, they are ornery enough to have not many enemies except cars running over them, so most are dying in the first few months and the rest in the next few years.  Wish this one luck!

Baby turtle
Baby turtle

This one strayed from cover but no raccoons, skunks, owls or other predators will attack while there is a photographer around.

Baby turtle 2
Baby turtle 2


These are snapping turtles.  They can’t withdraw fully into their shells, but as I said, the adults are nasty enough that nothing around here will attack them, except humans.  I have been told they are barely edible so these days not many humans will try either.
It is probably no coincidence, with fifty or so of these guys “running” for cover, that this kestrel showed up, but wouldn’t get close enough for a clear picture.

Kestrel on bird-house pole


Author: Eric Lawton

Eric is a natural philosopher living in rural Ontario

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