Wednesday, May 5, 2010 5:25pm CDT

54 degrees  Partly cloudy   Still windy
 
You may have just heard the loons calling and I assume the loon on the nest DOVE off the nest...I didn't see it because I was outside.  But with what just happened, I assume she made a pretty hasty exit from the nest!
 
Here is what was going on outside of your view on the cam ....
 
I heard the loons alarm calling and came around the house to see what was disturbing them.  It was then that I saw that she was off the nest.  And it was then that I saw what was disturbing them! 
 
And what was disturbing them was an eagle!
 
It was an immature eagle that at first I thought was  targeting the nest...because he was hovering right over it.
 
But it soon became apparent that he was fishing and not targeting the nest.
 
He was watching the surface of the water and hovering.  Then he would move a little bit and hover.
 
At one point it looked like he dove on one of the loons that was swimming and calling below him!
 
The loons were out in the lake some distance by now and they were calling....obviously trying to distract him.  But his mind was on fish and his mind was on a meal.
 
He kept moving and then hovering.
  
Finally he dove and with his talons grabbed something.  I could not see exactly what it was but he had something in the firm piercing fatal grip of his talons.
 
Then he flew back over the nest [the loons did not like that at all!] and he landed on my dock with his catch!!  Only then could I see what he had caught.  He was clutching a bullhead in his claws and began tearing it apart and eating it.
 
It did not take him more than a couple minutes to completely devour it.  As he came to the end of his meal, a crow landed on the dock only a few feet away from him to see if it could steal any scraps!  BRAVE crow!
 
I stood and watched because I did not want him to think that he had an easy meal of fish and loon eggs.  When he took off he flew right over the nest.  I was ready to run down to scare him away if he tried to swoop down on the nest.  The loons seeing him once again over the nest started calling once more!  But he kept moving and kept looking for more fish and finally flew away!
 
So our loons have had their first encounter with an eagle since they laid the egg and everything seems to be ok.  The loon should be back and on the nest in a few minutes
 
Loons HATE eagles.  I "hate" to use a term like 'hate' when it comes to ascribing feelings to animals.  But in this case I think it fits.  Loons hate eagles.  Probably more than any other threat.
 
Now if the eagle wants to come back and take....oh, let's say....a MUSKRAT!  That is ok with me!!!
 
But for now, the loons are ok.  And just as importantly the egg is ok.