Observe a loggerhead sea turtle nest via a live streaming "turtle webcam" installed on a private Florida Keys beach. Over the next several days, the nest is expected to hatch, and lucky viewers may observe hatchlings emerge from the nest and make their way to the ocean's edge.
(Mac users, please use your Safari browser to see the live turtlecam)
Loggerhead, green, leatherback, hawksbill and Kemp's ridley sea turtles nest on beaches in the Florida Keys and other parts of Florida, or inhabit Florida and Keys waters. All five species are considered either threatened or endangered.
From mid-April through October each year, these turtles crawl ashore at night to dig their nests and lay eggs. A female turtle typically lays about 100 eggs and covers them with sand before returning to the water, leaving the nest alone.
Approximately two months later, the hatchlings struggle free of the nest and rush toward the sea, guided by moonlight reflecting off open water.
Any artificial light, including flashlights and flash cameras, can disturb and disorient the turtles, interrupting the natural process. Laws prohibit people from touching or disturbing hatchlings, nests and nesting turtles.
On September 1, 2009, a video of a loggerhead sea turtle nest hatching was recorded just before 9 p.m. Click below to see the babies emerge. Personnel from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission placed a metal grid over the nest to help prevent raccoons from burrowing before eggs hatch. However, turtle hatchlings were still able to get out to crawl to the ocean.