Baby Boxer

Friday, October 14, 2016,

This is a baby Box Turtle. Cute little beastie, isn’t it? I was with a group of birders at Avalon during the most recent Four Harbors Audubon monthly walk. One of the walkers – one with much better eyes than my own – spotted this tiny little guy near the side of the path. And, as the next two pics will show, this is one small turtle. In fact, these photos are slightly larger than life. Click on each pic for an even larger view.

After all of us had a chance to view this diminutive marvel we began discussing what species of hard-bodied critter this was. Birders are like that. It’s not enough to see a bird – they insist on identifying everything they see. Some of the walkers thought we were looking at a baby Snapping Turtle and others were thinking it was a Diamondback Terrapin. I was certain that it was neither. I’ve seen plenty of baby Snappers and baby Terrapins and this wasn’t one of either. My first instinct was Box Turtle but I couldn’t be sure. While I’ve been very familiar with Box Turtles since childhood, my experience with baby Boxers is quite limited. The shape of this guy’s head screamed Box Turtle but that shell didn’t look quite right. The dome didn’t seem high enough but, again, I don’t get to meet many baby Boxers. 


Luckily, birders are not my only resource. I sent these pics to some of my friends at Sweetbriar Nature Center and then I posted the shots at Facebook’s Long Island Wildlife Photography page. The general concensus was that this was, indeed, a baby Box Turtle. And while this may seem like an ‘I told you so’ moment, the truth is that without the input of others I would never be certain of what this little guy is. Thanks to everyone who helped me figure this out. JK

8 thoughts on “Baby Boxer

  1. Great find ! Happy to say I was there when… ( in this case, when we had it misID’d.). Thanks for setting us straight! 🙂

  2. Thank you, Elaine. However, I cannot take credit for the find. One of the bird watchers on our walk found this little guy. And as for identifying him, well, it took a village. Or, at least, my friends at Sweetbriar and on Facebook. And, don’t worry, you’re still on my shortlist of folks that help me ID both birds and plants. Just maybe not reptiles. 🙂 JK.

  3. Adorable, I understand. But cuddly? He’s about as cuddly as a football helmet. Or a rock with legs. 🙂 JK.

  4. Did you never have a pet rock??? I had rock people when I was a kid and they owned a pet store full of rock animals. 🙂

  5. Michele, I have had an entire menagerie of pets over the years and not a one was a pet rock. I do, however, have a decent collection of pretty rocks and stones from all over the globe. Some are real beauties – Mother Nature works wonders both above and below the ground – but none are cuddly. But none are near as cute as this baby Box Turtle. So perhaps I will concede the cuddly point to you. 🙂 JK.

  6. He would be wonderful atop a soft pillow resting right next to one’s head! 🙂

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