Wednesday, April 29, 2009 7:45am CDT

Both loons are up on the nest and they mate once again.

Several of you have asked about the mating.  It is normal for them to mate several times.  I have observed as many as 5 times in previous years.  However, already this year, I have observed 6 times and with the observations of some of the rest of you, it is up to 8 times at least.

This is one of the wonders and advantages of the cam.

Behaviour that scientists would never be able to see or document in the wild without phenomenal time and effort, can now be observed by you and them in the comfort of your home.  Over the last few years, there have been things which have been documented on this cam that are starting to change the "conventional wisdom" of what we know about loons.

As she is sitting on the nest right now, there are body movements and 'twitches' that make me wonder if she is getting near the time to lay the first egg.  One can only wonder what is going on inside her body.  The miracle of that alone is something that is hard to comprehend.  I would guess by now the first egg is almost fully formed and a shell is being formed around it.

What you can watch for when she is close to laying an egg is that kind of body movement and very subtle twitches.

Then as the time to lay the egg approaches, she may sort of "climb" up on the edge of the nest.  She will spread her wings slightly to steady herself.  And then all of a sudden, the egg will be laid.  The whole process takes only a couple minutes.  And when the egg is finally laid, it happens very quickly.

For now she has just left the nest and the pair has gone out into the lake to swim and to fish.

So once again, we can only watch and wait.  It is out of our hands.  We are only spectators in this fascinating look into the life of a loon.