Sea Turtle Nest Updates on Hilton Head Island

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Sea Turtle Update March 3, 2015

Dear 2014 Sea Turtle Adopters,

Many of you are shivering, as winter sends a continuous blast to much of the country.  But while we are dealing with all kinds of weather here on land, our mother loggerhead sea turtles are happily swimming in the Sargasso Sea, resting up and bulking up for their summer expedition to our  beaches where they will lay their eggs. Our job is to protect this endangered species.

Since the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project began more than 25 years ago, we believe that we are now seeing the results of protecting those eggs all those years ago:  many of them are mother turtles who are returning to our beaches in record numbers.  We hope the trend continues this year!

Although the first turtles will not arrive until May, we are now taking applications for the adoption of 2015 Hilton Head Island turtle nests.  Many of you have already sent yours in (thank youJ).  For the others, attached is the application for 2015 – just fill it out and send it in.  BE SURE to let me know if you have any location preference…. (ie Port Royal beach, Palmetto Dunes, or near marker 100) so that we can assign you a nest that you can easily visit, if you wish

This year, we have specially designed green shirts that are only available to nest adopters – it is the same one that our turtle patrol staff wears.  Here is a picture of Amber Kuehn, HHI Sea Turtle Protection Project Manager, wearing one.

Sea turtles Hilton Head Island

If you would like a shirt, mark the appropriate size on this Sea Turtle Adopt application 2015.  Adoptions help to fund the non-profit Coastal Discovery Museum (which operates the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Program) – and also help to educate and entertain adopters with the comings and goings of the sea turtles.

We truly thank you for your continued support!

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project

 

 

Sea Turtle Update 10/16/14

Dear Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Nest Adopter,

Fall is here and the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle season is over……The beaches are bare of the nest markingsand the hatchlings are swimming way out in the distant seas,  but what a year this has been!  Here is a summary:

*  131 Sea Turtle Nests were identified on Hilton Head Island

–  126 on the ocean and 5 on Dolphin Head and Hickory Forest Beaches.

–  This is a 61% decrease from last season – reasons still unknown for sure.

*  42 % of the nests had to be relocated to higher, safer ground.

– Interestingly, more of the relocated nests were successful (91%) than the nests that were not moved (80%).

*  There were 70 false crawls (keeping our turtle team very busy!)

*  From the DNA analysis, we know that 49 different females laid the nests on the island.

– Only 2 turtles laid only one nest.

– One mother laid her eggs on 4 different beaches

– One mother laid 6 different nests (see map):  4 of them were at the very heel of the island in Port Royal Plantation and she laid her 2nd and 4th nests directly across Port Royal Sound on Bay Point Island.  I guess she needed a little swim between nest layings.

*  All the turtles nesting on Hilton Head Island this year were loggerhead turtles – except for one Green Sea Turtle – with 99 hatchlings!

Thanks to our wonderful Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project Team, led by Amber Kuehn!  (Here is Amber receiving an award from the State for her work with stranded turtles – Congratulations, Amber!)

These devoted people are truly making a difference in the preservation of the endangered Sea Turtles!  In the spring, I will send you an email with a little update to prepare you for the 2015 sea turtle nest adoption season.  In the meantime, many, many thanks for your interest, your support and your enthusiasm for saving the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtles!

Andrea

 

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project

 

Sea Turtle Update 8/5/14

Green Turtles on Hilton HeadWow – yesterday, beachgoers on Hilton Head were treated to a view of a Green Turtle nesting on the north end of Hilton Head Island – just up from the Westin in Port Royal Plantation!  We don’t see Green Turtles too often here (almost all of ours are Loggerhead turtles) so it is a treat when one selects our island for laying her eggs.  (It is Nest # 126.)  They are also very much an endangered species.  Here is what she looked like

Green Turtles not actually green on the outside but have a green “skin” under their shell. They are larger than Loggerheads and have a different “walk”, leaving different tracks in the sand – that was the first clue that one was here:  Greens walk with both flippers simultaneously vs. the Loggerhead which has an alternating gait.

Another clue was the nest – Green Turtles make multiple body pits and it looks like bombs went off where they nested.  It would be hard to miss these pits on the beach yesterday.

Sea Turtle Update 7/19/14

While we are waiting for the first nests to hatch (should be any day now!), following are answers to a couple of questions that some of you have been asking:

What kinds of sea turtles do we have on Hilton Head Island? 

Of course there are many turtles that live on the island in the lagoons and creeks – these are not the endangered sea turtles.  We are protecting mainly the loggerhead sea turtles which nest here – they weigh between 250 and 1000 pounds!  Here are two loggerhead turtle pictures –

This is a momma swimming along the ocean floor (I actually saw one like this in the Australian Great Barrier Reef last month!!J).

Sea Turtle Swimming

 

Usually the mothers come ashore at night but occasionally one is found still working her way back to the ocean after the sun comes up.

Momma Turtle Heading back to sea

 

Why are some nests moved by the Turtle Patrol? 

If the mother has laid her eggs too close to the water, the nest must be moved to higher ground to prevent drowning of the eggs during a high tide.  When this happens, our trained turtle patrol very carefully digs up the eggs and moves them in a very delicate process: with gloved hands, they gently remove every egg and place them in a bucket for safekeeping during the transfer.  Then they dig a hole in a very similar shape to the original hole – and place the eggs in the new hole, one at a time, in almost exactly the same position that they were in before.  They cover up the nest, mark it, and let the eggs settle in for their 45-60 day incubation.  Amazingly, as of today, out of our 112 nests, 49 have had to be relocated – that is 43.7% – a lot of work for our Turtle Patrol!

Here is a picture of our team moving a nest –notice the mother’s tracks to and from the nest.

Sea Turtle Nest Being Protected

More later –

Andrea

Sea Turtles On Hilton Head

 

 

 

 

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project

 

 

By Andrea B. Siebold

Mama Sea TurtlesA little later than usual, but the mother turtles finally began laying their eggs on the Hilton Head beaches and now there are more and more nests appearing on the beach.  During the dark night, the mother turtle comes ashore and slowly drags herself onto the sand to find a dry spot on the beach to lay her eggs.

 

This is very hard for her because she is VERY large (around 300 pounds!) and she is not used to being out of the water (she has been swimming in the ocean for 25 years since she was born).  After she finds a good spot, she spends a long time digging a hole with her back flippers and lays her eggs (usually about 120 of them) in the hole.  She then covers the eggs with sand and slowly returns to the ocean. Read the rest of this entry



What is that new sculpture near the Sea Pines Traffic Circle?

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Sail Around“Sail Around” is a large powder coated steel sculpture measuring 16 feet tall, 4 feet wide and 6 feet deep. “Sail Around” was part of the 2013 Public Art Exhibition at Honey Horn; however, it was not selected as the winner of the exhibition. The artist donated this piece to the Town’s public art collection at the conclusion of the exhibition.  The powder-coated steel structure sets up a dynamic series of implied movements between its independent parts while its title “Sail Around” makes clear connections to the element of nautical discovery part of Hilton Head Island’s past and present.



Hilton Head Island May Days

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May Weather on Hilton HeadHappy May Days From Hilton Head Island!  May offers less rain than any other month and temperatures hover in the 80’s.   Perfect weather for the many outdoor events including the Windmill Harbour Boat Show, The Annual Dog Walk on Coligny Beach, Mothers Day, The Annual Bluffton Village Festival, The Shelter Cove Farmers Market, Kiwanis Rib Burnoff, The 6th Annual Hilton Head Arts Festival, Gregg Russell, and to kick summer officially off, Memorial Day on Hilton Head’s Beaches.



Happy Easter and Heritage!

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2014 RBC Heritage Television and Radio Information

This weekend on Hilton Head Island, we will be celebrating both Easter and Heritage on Sunday.  We have listed below two sunrise Easter services and the television channels, schedules, links to the leader boards, websites and XM radio for the RBC Heritage 2014 on Hilton Head Island:

You can also tune into XM Satellite Radio – Channel 93 or 208 Thursday – Sunday for Heritage Updates or check out the PGA live leader board.

Easter Sunrise Services – Sunday April 20, 2014

At HarbourtownEaster Sunrise Service at 7:30 am at the 18th Green Spectators are invited to sit in the bleachers and skyboxes. The Easter Egg Hunt afterwards on the Heritage Lawn.

On the Beach –  Sunrise Service at 7 a.m. at Coligny Beach, near the Holiday Inn Oceanfront (or at the church in the event of rain or imminent threat of rain), followed by 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. worship services in the Sanctuary on Pope Avenue, as well as 10:30 a.m. at the Bluffton campus at USCB.

 

 



Celebrate April Outdoors on Hilton Head

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Hilton Head Island in AprilApril represents spring beautifully on Hilton Head.  Not only is the Island busting out right now in bloom, but the temperatures are floating in the high 70’s, cool and fresh.  Some of Hilton Head’s biggest outdoor events are celebrated in April including the RBC Heritage, Easter Sunrise Beach Service, Historic walk/talks, farmers markets, Art Markets, Easter Eggstravaganza, Gregg Russell under the Liberty Oak, Mitchelville 5K, Reggae Run, Tour the Nina & Pinta, Salty Dog Easter Egg Hunt, and Hilton Head Air Days.

Come Celebrate Spring and April on Hilton Head

We have some great places for you to stay on Hilton Head Island including Oceanfront Resorts, luxury homes and villas.  Just let us know your travel dates via email and we will introduce you to Hilton Head beauty.  Thank  you.



Hilton Head Area Awards and Accolades

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Harbourtown OakGreat News...about the Hilton Head Area.  We have put together a list of recent awards and accolades with links to these articles.  It is our hope that these will inspire you to make a trip or send an  inquiry to us or your REALTOR about the great properties and awesome place we live in.  138 properties sold since March 1st just on the Island and we will try to save you a seat!  Read the rest of this entry



It’s Official, Spring Hits Hilton Head

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Spring Bloom Hilton Head 2011Spring officially begins when the first azalea blooms on Hilton Head Island.  Not only does Spring in the Low Country give great reason for celebration, it offers some wonderful festivals on and off the Island.  We celebrate spring in the following ways:

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St. Patty’s Day Parade Hilton Head Style

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St Pattys Day on Hilton HeadGet your green on, Hilton Head’s Infamous St. Patty’s Day parade is this Sunday.  Starting at the sounth end of Pope Avenue, the parade will progress up Pope Avenue to the viewing stand and turn off Pope to Office Park Road and finish at Park Plaza.  Starts at 3 this Sunday! Listed below are some links and cool ways to enjoy the parade!

 

 

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A Hilton Head Island Christmas – 2014

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Hilton Head Properties We hope to see you on Hilton Head Island during the Holidays.  Listed below are some of our favorite things to do during the Christmas Holidays.  Just click on the link to find out more.  If you need any information about the Island or some special ideas for your visit, please email or pop into our office located at 12 New Orleans Road.

Top 10 Favorites for Christmas on Hilton Head Island

1.  Attend the Gregg Russell Christmas Concert in Harbourtown

2.  Wake everyone up for a sunrise on the beach HHI Sunrise Schedule

3.  Invite a friend to walk or run the Jingle Shell

4.  Attend a Sounds of Christmas Concert on Hilton Head

5.  Visit Signes Bakery for a mikdud, cowboy or mumba cookie

6.  Take a long beach walk on Hilton Head

7.  Daytrip to Savannah, Charleston or Beaufort

8.  Take a tour of the Coastal Discovery Museum

9.  Visit the Village at Palmetto Bluff

10. Find the perfect villa, home or homesite w/your Realtor

P.S.  Don’t forget to sign up for the Polar Bear Swim

 

Happy Holidays from Hilton Head Properties

All of us at Hilton Head Properties wish for you a very Happy Hilton Head Holiday and A Prosperous New Year!  Please email or call us at (843)785-7111, if we can help you with anything over the Holidays or into 2014.  Thank you.



Fun Fall Festivals in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

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Something about a small Island in the off season…restaurant reservations are easier, the pace is slower and the outside festivals are wonderful. This fall on Hilton Head and the Low Country we have listed some great outside events to enjoy on Hilton Head Island including the Celebrity Golf Tournament this weekend, Savannah Craft Brew Fest and events through the fall.  Check out the events listed below! Read the rest of this entry




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