Caught on Webcam: Baby Turtles Gone Wild
Live streaming webcam catches hatchlings up close
NAHARIYA, ISRAEL - AUGUST 24: About two months after a nest of loggerhead turtle eggs was transplanted to a protected hatchery, and after three nights of natural hatchings, Israeli ecologist holds one of seven surviving baby turtles that remained trapped in the 40cm deep nest and which would otherwise have died had she not dug them out to ensure them a safe passage to the Mediterranean Sea at first light on Betzet beach August 24, 2006 near the northern Israel town of Nahariya. From transplanting turtle nests during the nesting season to protected beaches, through the rescue and treatment of wounded turtles brought in by fishermen or washed up on Israel's shores, to the development of a long-range breeding program for the threatened Green turtles, the volunteers and staff of the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority are doing their best to protect the creatures. The numbers have dwindled in the Mediterranean to an estimated 350 nesting female Green turtles and about 2500 nesting female Loggerheads. Far removed from man-made obstacles and protected from their natural predators such as crabs, foxes and birds, the hatchlings make their race to the sea with the hope that more than 20 years later they will return to the same beach to ensure the species survival. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
Updated at 7:47 AM EDT on Friday, Sep 4, 2009
Typically, if you wanted to witness the miracle of life, turtle-style that is, you'd have to head to the beach at dusk and with a pair of binoculars, and wait and hope.
However, times have changed. Now you can watch adorable, baby loggerhead turtles make their initial journey to the ocean via webcam.
The turtle-friendly cameras in the Florida Keys are equipped with infrared technology to record video while not disturbing the baby turtles.
For about two weeks, live-streaming webcams have been focused on three different loggerhead nests that were expected to hatch at different times. The video first appeared on the Florida Keys Website on Tuesday and viewers were mesmerized by what they witnessed from the comfort of their own homes.
"I watched the turtles hatch in Nest #3 last night," wrote Barbara LaGrossa of Winter Park, Fla. "It was awesome! Called my grandchildren and they too were able to see them hatch!!!"
On evenings from early spring through early fall, turtles in the Keys come ashore to dig nests and lay eggs. The turtles then cover up their eggs with sand and return to the ocean. It’s not until two months later that the turtle hatchlings making their way out to the sea.
Bon voyage hatchlings!
Published at 7:18 AM EDT on Sep 4, 2009