Our 2023 season started on May 1. About two months after the first nest, our excavations begin. When a nest emerges, we will invite you to public excavations only if parking is available. Only those will be listed here on our Excavation Schedule one to three days prior . We cannot predict in advance when they will be, so check daily.
What is an excavation?
Sea turtles actually hatch from the egg 1-3 days before they emerge from the nest cavity. Once they emerge, they make their way to the sea. Once a nest has emerged, we wait 3 days to give all the hatchlings an opportunity to make it out of the nest on their own. On day 3 after an emergence, we dig into the nest, excavate it, to take an inventory of the contents. We count all the empty egg shells (shards), the unhatched eggs, and any hatchlings that may be trapped of dead in the nest. This is an excavation. The nests we dig into at this event have already hatched and emerged on their own. We are just taking an inventory.
What will you see at an excavation?
You will see the contents of the nest, shards, unhatched eggs, live and/or dead hatchlings remaining in the nest.
When are excavations held?
We excavate nests in the early morning or late evening.
All excavations are influenced by the weather and may be postponed or canceled.
Some nests are located in areas with no access for the public. These nests may be excavated without being posted for public attendance.
Please use the resources below (Beach Access Map and Beach Access Number) to identify locations of excavations. Some accesses are labeled with a number and "N". These accesses are located north of Main Beach off of North Fletcher Ave. Please make sure you know where you are going before you leave to attend.
Excavations are done in the morning and in the evening. Please pay attention to "AM" or "PM" on the schedule.