In the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I recently had the pleasure of photographing a Three-toed Box Turtle crossing the auto tour road. As a wildlife enthusiast and photographer, I was thrilled to capture this moment. The Three-toed Box Turtle is a seasonal migrator and is commonly found in forested areas during early spring, summer, and late fall in Arkansas and East Oklahoma.

Early Spring Box Turtle

Early Spring Box Turtle

To capture this shot, I parked my pickup near the Sandtown Woods area and got out with my trusty Fujifilm X-T3 camera equipped with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens and a Fringer EF-FX Pro. I used my bean bag to provide a stable surface for my camera and lens, and waited for the perfect moment to take a few quick shots. It was just after 6 a.m., and since the refuge was quiet, I didn’t have to worry about any traffic.

Box turtles are fascinating creatures, and their behavior can vary depending on the time of year. In winter, they can hibernate for up to six months, digging themselves into the soil to wait for spring to arrive. During this time, their body temperature and metabolism slow down, allowing them to conserve energy. Interestingly, Three-toed Box Turtles have been known to hibernate together, sometimes in groups of up to 30 individuals!

In the early spring, however, Three-toed Box Turtles can be found roaming around in search of food and mates. Their diet consists of a variety of insects, earthworms, and even small fruits and berries. They are slow-moving creatures, so they are vulnerable to predators such as raccoons and skunks, which is why it’s important to give them space and not disturb them.

Overall, it was a great experience to capture this Three-toed Box Turtle. As a wildlife photographer, I hope to continue to capture these amazing moments and share them with others who appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/125 sec.
  • Focal Length: 400 mm

A Few More Box Turtles I Photographed

Moving Turtles From Road

Colorful Three-toed Box Turtle

Three-toed Box Turtle Close-up

Three-toe Box Turtle Walking On Rocks