Red-eared Slider Searching For New Habitat

Red-eared Sliders are fascinating creatures, known for their distinctive red markings behind their eyes and their love of water. However, sometimes these turtles venture out of their aquatic homes in search of a new habitat, or in some cases, a suitable place to lay their eggs. I encountered this Red-eared Slider in my yard (Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas) back in April of 2017.

Red eared Slider
Red eared Slider

Red eared Slider In A Pool Of Water
Red eared Slider In A Pool Of Water

As I observed the turtle, I could see that it was on a journey, moving away from a nearby pond and into my yard. I took a few photos with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera, paired with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens, and left the turtle to continue on its way.

However, the next morning I found the turtle trapped inside my fenced-in garden. It had found its way through the gate, which was left open, and was trying to find a way out. After observing the turtle’s movements, I picked it up and took it to a pool of water in the same direction it was heading.

I took a few more photos with my Fujifilm X100T camera and watched as the turtle moved into deeper water and disappeared.

It is not uncommon for Red-eared Sliders to leave their aquatic habitats in search of new homes, especially during periods of drought or overcrowding. These turtles are also known to be highly adaptable, which allows them to thrive in a variety of environments, including both freshwater and terrestrial habitats.

In conclusion, if you ever come across a Red-eared Slider on land, take a moment to appreciate the journey that this creature is on and the remarkable adaptability that allows it to thrive in a variety of habitats. And who knows, you may just capture a memory of a turtle’s quest for a new home or a suitable place to lay its eggs.


Red-eared Sliders are known to lay eggs in Arkansas during the spring and summer months, usually between April and August. These turtles typically lay their eggs in sandy or loose soil near a body of water, such as a pond or lake. The eggs will hatch within 2-3 months, depending on temperature and other environmental factors. After hatching, the young turtles will often enter the water and begin their lives as aquatic creatures.

It’s important to note that Red-eared Sliders are not native to Arkansas and are considered an invasive species in many areas. 

Camera Settings For First Photo

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture: f10
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/800 sec.
  • Focal Length: 400 mm

Camera Settings For Second Photo

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture: f11
  • ISO: 640
  • Shutter speed: 1/125 sec.
  • Focal Length: 23 mm (Fixed)