Most nesting occurs north of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea in temperate waters, although some individuals nest in the western Caribbean. Loggerhead sea turtles also nest along the southeastern U. S. coast, with 90 percent of nests occurring in Florida. Females come out of the water to lay their eggs on beaches at night. An individual may nest up to 7 times in a single season, laying 100-125 eggs every 14+ days. The eggs hatch in 55-65 days; the hatchlings emerge at night .
Immediately after hatchlings emerge from the nest, they begin a period of frenzied activity. During this active period, hatchlings move from their nest to the surf, swim, and are swept through the surf zone, and continue swimming away from land for up to several days. After this swim frenzy period, post-hatchling loggerheads take up residence in areas where surface waters converge to form local \. These areas are often characterized by accumulations of floating material, such as seaweed (for example, Sargassum), and, in the southeast U.S., are common between the Gulf Stream and the southeast U.S. coast, and between the Loop Current and the Gulf Coast of Florida. As post-hatchlings, loggerheads may linger for months in waters just off the nesting beach or become transported by ocean currents within the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic.
Once individuals get transported by ocean currents farther offshore, they’ve entered the oceanic zone. Within the North Atlantic, juvenile loggerheads have been primarily studied in the waters around the Azores and Madeira (Bolten 2003). The juvenile turtles around the Azores and Madeira spend the majority of their time in the top 15 feet (5 m) of the water column.
Somewhere between 7-12 years old, oceanic juveniles migrate to near-shore coastal areas (neritic zone) and continue maturing until adulthood. In addition to providing critically important habitat for juveniles, the neritic zone also provides crucial foraging habitat, inter-nesting habitat, and migratory habitat for adult loggerheads in the western North Atlantic. To a large extent, these habitats overlap with the juvenile stage, the exception being most of the bays, sounds, and estuaries along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the U.S. from Massachusetts to Texas, which are infrequently used by adults. However, adult loggerheads are present year-round in Florida Bay, an important feeding area, probably because of relatively easy access to open ocean and migratory routes.