Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eastern Box Turtle

This morning I got an email from Steven McDonald, fellow birder and neighbor on Perthshire. Today he found and photographed this female Eastern Box Turtle in his yard. He said:
Found this little girl wandering around our front flowerbed. It's an Eastern Box Turtle, only had 3 toes on both hind feet. She actually has a little burrow dug in the corner so I'm hoping she's going to lay eggs there.
Wow, I hope so too! Our creek is full of water turtles like Red-eared Sliders, but these days land turtles are few and far between. Box turtle populations have plummeted over the last 30 or 40 years, so finding a wild one in our neighborhood is very special. It's very interesting to me that in late April 2007 I found a male Ornate Box Turtle in our neighborhood and in late May 2008 Steven found one in his yard. So we're averaging 1 box turtle sighting per spring! If you find a box turtle, please let me know. And Texas Parks and Wildlife is interested too. Please fill out their sighting form here.

5 comments:

Moria said...

Wow, very neat! I had no idea there were land turtles around here. That is exciting.

Mikael Behrens said...

Yes! I sure do hope we see more of them.

Anonymous said...

Have your friend protect the nest. Box turtles suffer a high mortality due to nest predation. Just placing a simple cage around the site can increase survival. Hopefully he will see more in his yard in future years.

skm0308 said...

I did a little more research on the Eastern Box Turtle and this is actually a Three-toed Box Turtle which is a subspecies of the Eastern.

trina corina said...

Turtles are awesome! My MIL in Clovis, NM has a backyard full of box turtles. UPS drivers started finding them on the roads or injured next to the road and they'd bring them to her. They are happy and protected in her yard, she has a lawn maintenance guy that watches for them and only mows in the heat of the day. She probably has over 50 back there and we find babies every year! She grows a little garden just for them! We love them!