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Posts tagged “Incubation

Snapping Turtles Laying Eggs

6-11-13 snapping turtle eggs IMG_8932It’s that time of year again, when female aquatic turtles, including Snapping Turtles, are leaving their ponds to lay eggs. You are looking between the front and hind legs of a Snapping Turtle in this picture. The 30 to 40 eggs she’ll probably lay look like ping pong balls, only slightly smaller. As each egg is laid, she moves her front foot back to meet the egg, in what looks like an effort to ease it gently down into the pile of eggs below. When finished, she will bury the eggs and return to her pond. In three or four months, the eggs will hatch, and usually the young turtles emerge and head for the nearest pond (sometimes they overwinter underground). The sex of the turtle that hatches from each egg is determined by the temperature the egg was while it was incubating underground.


Red-tailed Hawks on Eggs

The red-tailed hawk nest that produced two chicks last summer is once again occupied by a pair of red-tails.  A conifer sprig adorning the outside of the nest was the first clue that a second brood might be in the works.  Yesterday I saw both male and female return to the nest carrying strips of bark, which the female applied to the lining of the nest.  Mid-March is when red-tails typically are building or refurbishing their nest and laying eggs.  They begin incubating as soon as the first (of 2 – 3) egg is laid, with the male and female both participating.  This photograph was taken at the changing of the guard.