Before arriving on the "Sting Ray City" beach on Cormorant Point, our guide told us there was a small chance that we might get to see a baby turtle, as there is a sea turtle nesting area at the back of the beach. He explained that the frigate birds flying overheard would provide the clues. With excellent vision, the frigate birds hover back a forth over the turtle nests, looking for some moving sand or a tiny turtle sticking it head out of the sand. Most turtles hatch and come out of the nest during the night, and this is why. They have almost no chance of survival in the daylight.
Several times I saw the frigates swoop down towards the turtle nesting ground, though I couldn't tell if they caught anything. Later, as we were taking photos of the stingrays, our grouped was gathered together. Not only had a baby turtle emerged from its nest, but two of them had. By staying very close to the baby turtles, the frigate birds were prevented from swooping down and picking up the turtles. The baby turtles were tiny (see the photo below with my hand and camera to get a sense of the size). Every tiny little divot in the sand seems like a huge dune, and obstacle in the turtles' path. Instinctively, baby turtles know to head directly for the water, even though they have never seen water nor swam before -- the mother turtle is long gone by this point, there is no one to tell them what or where to go. And they seem to know that they have to move fast, as the little guys can really move. Here are some photos:
Within a few minutes, the turtles reached the edge of the water, one and then the other. Warning: if you don't like sad story endings, you should stop reading now. Once we got closer to the edge of the water, our group began to spread out, every so slightly, as the first waves washed over the tiny turtles' backs. That was just enough, apparently, as a frigate bird dove quickly and snatched the baby turtle from the water, so fast that we didn't even have time to react. This happened to both turtles, unfortunately. The cute little turtles, running for their lives a few moments ago, had become a meal for the frigate birds. You have to wonder if the frigate birds had not gotten them, whether the school of sharks, just meters away, would have went after them.
Note: According to Wikipedia, sea turtles lay between 70-190 eggs up to 9 nines per year and only 1 in 1000 baby turtles make into adulthood.