A species of special concern, a Blanding's turtle with its distinctive yellow throat, shares a log with a much smaller Painted turtle. Considered a short step away from an endangered species, they are protected in most of the last remaining states where they can be found. Magee is one of the few places in Ohio where these 8-10 inch turtles can be seen.
Since Blanding's turtles require 15 to 20 years to reach sexual maturity, it is a wonder any make it at all! Our smiling specimen could well be a female basking or thermo-regulating. This behavior speeds the development of her eggs, allowing her to lay them sooner.
Maybe we will have some little ones this fall. They will be about an inch long when they hatch out, but don't count on seeing them. Blanding's are very secretive until they get a bit larger, and little is known about their young.Consider a late May stroll at Magee to enjoy a peaceful boardwalk, the serenade of Warbling Vireos and melodic tones of the Baltimore Orioles. Breeding birds along the walk currently include Great Horned Owls, House Wrens, Tree Swallows, and Prothonotary Warblers.
Warblers are great, but Magee is much, much more. A "bad" day on the boardwalk is still one of the best days a naturalist could have.