Wednesday, June 29, 2011

JFK's Tweeting Turtles

Wikipedia's public domain photo by Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist, NOAA

Turtle Tidbit #3 is a report on the diamondback terrapins on the runway today at JFK International Airport. Flights were delayed by about 30 minutes while airport officials picked up the turtles and relocated them to a safer nesting area. JFK Airport borders Jamaica Bay where the turtles live. They leave the water every year around this time to lay eggs, and their appearance at JFK is an annual event. Today there seemed to be an unusually large number of them -- the highest count I read was 150.

The press had a field day with this story. Please check all the links below for the variety of pictures they contain as well as the audio from the flight tower.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Advice on Snapping Turtle Eggs

Photo by Brian Cook, used with permission
My friend Brian was excited to discover that his resident snapping turtle (Common Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina) laid eggs in the field near the pond on his property. Sadly, the eggs never hatched. Instead, they provided a gourmet breakfast for some local crows. Brian wondered if he should have done something to protect the vulnerable eggs. Good question!

Trying to provide him with some sound advice, I checked all my favorite turtle sites on the internet and did numerous Google searches. Interestingly, I didn't come up with very much information, so I took my many questions to Julie Maguire, a New York State Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator who runs Turtle Rescue of Long Island. Here are her answers:

Monday, June 06, 2011

Turtles Pay Tribute to Victims of War

Turtle Tidbit #2 is a report on the sculpture installation by French artist Rachid Khimoune. Now installed on Normandy's Omaha Beach, the exhibit consists of 1000 soldier's helmets fashioned as turtles. It protests global violence and commemorates the 67th anniversary of D-Day. Coverage by The Associated Press appeared in many newspapers today.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

In Pursuit of the Elusive Gopher Tortoise

(This post is a follow-up to my previous post dated May 18, 2011.)

Less than a week after learning gopher tortoises existed, I found myself in gopher tortoise territory. If there were enough gopher tortoises to warrant road signs, surely I could see one during our four-day visit to Sanibel Island to attend my cousin's wedding. I vowed to check out a few places where gopher tortoises might be seen in the free time between wedding events and family gatherings.