eastern box turtle

I went on a walk yesterday with two of my grandsons in a patch of woods near a small creek – perfect habitat for turtles! We were admiring the wildflowers when we noticed a turtle half-hidden under leaf litter. I gently lifted the turtle from the leaves so the boys could get a close look at this handsome Eastern box turtle. He tucked his head and legs inside his shell, but after a few minutes, he relaxed and let me snap his picture.

Eastern box turtle. Photo by Jo Ann Abell

Box turtles remain in the same two- to three-acre area as long as they have food, water, and other turtles to mate with. In winter, they hibernate under leaf litter or grass clumps. Populations are declining due to the use of pesticides, loss of habitat, and people removing them from the wild for pets (where they often suffer malnutrition and death).

We found this little guy about 5 o’clock in the evening. The temps are going down into the low 40s tonight, so he is probably digging in under the leaves to stay warm. We put him back where we found him so he could burrow in for the night.

Cool Fact: Box turtles reach sexual maturity at 5-7 years and have been known to live 100 years!

4 thoughts on “eastern box turtle

  1. I think he is quite gorgeous-What a find for your and your grandchildren! We have a goose sitting on her nest down along the lake-Her mate comes up to our lawn daily to feast on Lowell’s grass seed-Next thing you know we will see, Mom, Dad and 5-8 babies waddling up from the lake.

    • The kids wanted to take him home, but I explained why that wasn’t a good idea. I once saw a family of Canadas parading across a major highway in MD. Traffic stopped in all directions until the crazy geese were safe on the other side.

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