Wednesday, May 13, 2009 6:20am

54 degrees    Raining    Wind  S17mph

On a rainy morning, our loons sit faithfully on a nest with 2 eggs.

They are already halfway through the incubation period.  What changes are taking place inside those eggs so faithfully tucked underneath the loon?  So carefully kept warm and protected.  Are there really two little chicks well along in their development?

One can only hope about the wonderful changes that are taking place, away from our ability to see.

And what do the next two weeks hold for our loons?  That is also unknown.  Challenges that it is probably better that we do not know.  We would worry too much.  So it is better to just take one day at a time.

Yesterday the loons had a number of guests.  Guests that they did not remember sending out invitations to have them come and visit.

First another pair of loons came to visit yesterday morning.  This caused enough concern that both loons went out to keep them at a distance from the nest.  After a lot of excited swimming and diving, the intruding loons finally left.  Fortunately there was no fight.

Then about midday, an immature bald eagle decided it was time for a visit.  He was fishing in the area and he flew directly over the nest several times.  His presence was enough for the loon to bolt off the nest, swim some distance underwater only to surface away from the nest and start calling.  That was also enough to bring the other loon in from someplace else on the lake.

Both of them called excitedly as they watched the eagle overhead.

Meanwhile, there were others that did not like the eagle flying around in their territory either.  Crows and blackbirds were bombarding the eagle as he flew looking for fish.  A crow would dive and snap at the eagle and he would wheel and dive to get away from the crow or blackbird.  And the blackbirds hated that the crow was in the area almost as much as they hated the eagle being there.  So the blackbirds were also dive bombing the crows.  And all of them calling.  Apparently all of them in different languages telling the eagle that no one invited him to be there.

The eagle was no small thing to confront, even though he was immature.  He was fully the size of an adult eagle.  He just did not have his adult plumage yet.  That striking white head and tail that immediately tells you this is a bald eagle.

It was a tale worthy of the World War II battles of Snoopy and the Bloody Red Baron!

But after a few minutes, the eagle moved on and everything returned to somewhat normal.  At least what could pass as normal on a very windy day.  The loon returned to the nest, faithfully turned the eggs and settled down for the long haul.  The crows returned to their nest.  The blackbirds to their nests.  And except for the wind, things were quiet.

But quiet is something that never seems to last for long.  At least for the loons.

Soon it was time to be off the nest again.  And calling.

This time it was an adult eagle that was flying in the area.  The crows apparently also got the call and came flying out over the lake from the surrounding woods.  Once again, Snoopy was dive bombing the Red Baron!

Then last night, just as some heavy rain showers moved across the lake about 8 pm, something once again drew the loon off the nest and brought the mate from out in the lake.  Both loons were calling excitedly.  Both were using the tremolo call, which as I told you is an alarm call.  And the male was also using his yodel call which is an extreme territorial call.  They were both facing the same direction, off to the east.  But it was raining so hard I did not want to go down to the lake to see who or what was upsetting them.

I assume from the calls and the reaction that there was another loon or loons that they saw.  But I am not sure of that.

Even as I write the blog this morning, the loon has once again left the nest to help its mate protect the nest from another intruding loon.  This time a single loon, not a pair.  And so once again, there is a lot of excited diving and swimming and some calling.  But so far, no big fight.

Ahhhh, the start of just another day in the life of our treasured loons.  Things that would be so far out of our view and understanding without the LoonCam!  But now have given us new insights and pleasure and a new sense of wonder.  And new understanding and concerns.

What will today bring?  We can only watch and wait.

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