It's Turtle Nesting Season!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Have you seen turtles crossing roads, trails or parking lots in our parks lately?

  • This time of year, female aquatic turtles leave the water to find a suitable spot to lay their eggs on land.
  • They may scout out a location before they actually lay their eggs.
  • To create a nest, females use their hind legs to dig holes in soil, sometimes selecting flower beds, mulched landscapes, or sandy areas.
  • Turtle eggs are round or oval and leathery.
  • Turtle eggs can take 2-4 months to hatch but Painted turtle eggs overwinter.
  • The sex of baby turtles is determined by the ground temperature - warmer temperatures produce females, cooler temperatures produce males. Within one nest males may develop at the bottom with females at the top.
  • After laying their eggs, and covering their nest, the females head back to the water; they do not care for their young.

To learn more about local turtles and how to help them during their nesting season, click here.

To learn more about all of Illinois' turtle species, click here.

A Painted Turtle

A Common Snapping Turtle