Spawning season for snappers at Wye Marsh

 

 

Let me start with a painted turtle.  I found this one on the playing field at Wye Marsh Conservation Area and moved it so the school students playing a game modelling relations between historic trading blocs wouldn’t step on it.  Those claws are pretty sharp!lotsa turtles (1)

On June second, I found a snapper laying eggs and also saw holes dug by others.  It seemed like a lot of activity but the numbers kept picking up until yesterday, June 13, when I saw five turtles laying, including this location where three were laying at once. Should anyone care, this photo was taken on the berm at the far end of the big boardwalk.lotsa turtles (9 b)

One snapper had a hitchhiker.lotsa turtles (7 c) Not the same leech, but one a student had caught a few days earlier.DSC08756

This photo is from the twelfth and shows a snapper’s claws and dragged tail.  We were lucky to have a brief shower the previous night.snapper -loza (7) bAnd here is a raccoon print, from the same morning.snapper -loza (4) b

It is tough to explain to the visiting students that the turtles lay so many eggs but raccoons eat most of them.  (The ROM tells me that skunks also prey on turtle eggs although I have not yet seen any at the Marsh.  I have seen an otter and wonder if they could dig up the eggs.) I have resorted to acting the part of a hungry baby raccoon (“Chirrrrrrrp.  Feed me, mommy.”) to emphasize that the raccoons are not actually bad guys. Sometimes I believe it myself.

 

But not so much when I see a cutie like this.
snapper -loza (10) b

Both snapping turtles and Midland painted turtles are abundant at the Wye Marsh so I guess enough are getting through the gauntlet, even though snappers are rated as under ‘special concern’.  Painted turtles have no threat categorization at this time.

More on snappers at Ontario Nature and on turtles at The Toronto Zoo.

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4 Responses to “Spawning season for snappers at Wye Marsh”

  1. Kevin Kim Says:

    Amazing pics and fascinating commentary. Thanks for this.

  2. surprisesaplenty Says:

    Kevin,

    Thanks for the compliments. I have to chuckle that your comment is almost as fawning and content-free as the spam (is link-bait the right word?) I have to delete.

  3. Kevin Kim Says:

    “Fawning”?? Uh… you’re welcome, I think.

  4. surprisesaplenty Says:

    Perhaps “fawning” (defined online as: (of a person) Give a servile display of exaggerated flattery or affection, typically in order to gain favor.) is overstated.
    Here is a comment my spam filter caught:
    “I like how you have written your content. I must agree with your views on this topic. You’re a good writer that keeps content interesting no matter what the subject. I can respect your expertise.”

    You were more specific in only approving one post as well as being among my most frequent commenters.

    Maybe I just can’t take a compliment…

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