As April shades into May, my heroes spring into action once again. Not baseball players or even high-energy physicists, but sea turtle spotters all along the Atlantic and Gulf coast. It’s time again for sea turtles to leave their watery home and build their nests on the beach.

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I’ve no idea really why sea turtles hold such a fascination for me. But I know that when I grow up (assuming that ever happens), I want to be a sea turtle watcher.

Even though I’m hundreds of miles away from the nearest nest, I can still be a virtual turtle watcher from my laptop. Below are just a few of the websites that will track what could be the biggest sea turtle nesting season in years (more on that below).

Folly Beach, SC

http://www.follyturtles.com/

Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms, SC

http://www.bergwerfgraphics.com/

Jeckyll Island, GA

http://www.georgiaseaturtlecenter.org/gstc-blog

Panama City Beach

http://www.turtlewatch.org/

Clearwater and Sand Key

http://www.seewinter.com/about-us/what-we-do/2011-sea-turtle-nests

Sarasota Area

http://www.mote.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=EnvironmentalUpdates_SeaTurtleNesting2012&category=Main

Florida summary

http://myfwc.com/research/wildlife/sea-turtles/nesting/

Check out this last link in particular. After a steep decline in Florida loggerhead nests beginning around 2000, loggerheads have made a remarkable comeback. 2012 was just about at the level seen before the collapse, so perhaps the turtles have returned! Notice also that the turnaround started around 2008, the year that The Turtle and the Universe was published. Coincidence? Maybe . . .

Annual Total Nest Counts for Loggerhead Sea Turtles

If anyone knows of other sea turtle nest tracking websites, I’d love to know about them. In the meantime, happy turtle watching!

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