Male hawksbills mature when they are about 27 inches (70 cm) long. Females mature at about 30 inches (80 cm). The ages at which turtles reach these lengths are unknown. Female hawksbills return to the beaches where they were born (natal beaches) every 2-3 years to nest. They usually nest high up on the beach under or in the beach/dune vegetation.
They commonly nest on pocket beaches, with little or no sand. They nest at night, and they nest about every 14-16 days during the nesting season. The nesting season varies with locality, but in most locations nesting occurs sometime between April and November. A female hawksbill generally lays 3-5 nests per season, which contain an average of 130 eggs. Eggs incubate for around 2 months. In the Atlantic Ocean, the major rookeries (>200 nesting females/year) are found on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Cuba, Barbados, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. In the Indian Ocean, major rookeries occur in Western Australia,
Madagascar, Seychelles, Iran, Oman, Maldives, Yemen, Chagos Islands (British Indian Ocean Territory), and Sudan. In the Pacific Ocean, the major rookeries occur in Queensland, Australia, northeastern Arnhem Land (Northern Territory, Australia), Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands.