Some New England Turtles

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
stlouisdude
Posts: 463
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:30 pm
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT

Some New England Turtles

Post by stlouisdude »

I've taken a few hikes out this spring to look for turtles. Cool nights followed by sunny days have brought the turtles out to bask.

Blandings turtles seen leaving vernal pools for the main water body. A spotted turtle basks at a small pond near a swallow river where wood turtles bask on the shore line.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
SteveWinks
Posts: 17
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 8:19 am
Location: Eastern MA

Re: Some New England Turtles

Post by SteveWinks »

Nice to see Wood and Blandings here in the NE. Was expecting much more common Painted, snapping turtles.
mikez
Posts: 210
Joined: October 3rd, 2010, 6:43 am
Location: north central Ma

Re: Some New England Turtles

Post by mikez »

You must be in my neighborhood. Not many places have blandings and wood turtles in the same water shed. I won't call it out here but that watershed is the heart of my home range.

I wonder if we know each other?
SteveWinks
Posts: 17
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 8:19 am
Location: Eastern MA

Re: Some New England Turtles

Post by SteveWinks »

Hi Mike
No, I don't think we have ever corresponded. I am in Eastern MA and am familiar with the couple of locations where Blandings are known to be present and actually was lucky enough able to see one at one of these a few years ago. I think I would be just as thrilledhowever to see a Wood Turtle or Box turtle in habitat but never have.
Kfen
Posts: 420
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 5:51 am
Location: CT

Re: Some New England Turtles

Post by Kfen »

Stlouisdude, cool finds! Are you saying the blandings overwinter in the vernal pools and move to permanent water in the early spring?
mikez
Posts: 210
Joined: October 3rd, 2010, 6:43 am
Location: north central Ma

Re: Some New England Turtles

Post by mikez »

I will answer that even though the question was not for me; blandings overwinter in larger water bodies. Ponds, rivers or deeper permanent pools. They can't risk wintering in water bodies that can freeze to the bottom, dry up during winter or experience oxygen loss. That requires some depth.

In early spring they go wandering in the woods looking for vernal pools. They love the shrub swamps and pools with lots of woody debris. They feed and seek mates in those pools. They will stay there all summer if there's enough water but will travel overland if the pools get too low or if they experience too much human disturbances.

In fall they head back to the wintering spots.
stlouisdude
Posts: 463
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:30 pm
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT

Re: Some New England Turtles

Post by stlouisdude »

Good to know, I thought it was the opposite that they wintered in the mud of the vernal pools and were leaving as I found them. Perhaps you are right and it was the opposite direction. Every spring I find them near the vernal pools and also basking along with painted turtles in the backwaters. The wood turtle was in a different spot than the blandings turtles. I've only seen painted and spotted turtles there with them but those use small ponds nearby and not the streams themselves (as far as I know).
Kfen
Posts: 420
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 5:51 am
Location: CT

Re: Some New England Turtles

Post by Kfen »

Yeah, I was curious if you knew if the ones you saw were doing something different the norm. As far as I knew, they all overwinter in permanent water and move to the vernals in the spring.
Post Reply