Tuesday, May 17, 2011 6:21am CDT


42 degrees  Clear  Wind 2mph E


A calm northern lake.

The sun rising in the east.

A clear sky.

Birds singing their morning song.

A loon on its nest.

And a call off in the distance.

Does life get much better than this?

The simple but yet profound things of life that put so much beauty and wonder around us.  If only we will take the time to stop and marvel at it.  To drink it in.  To savor it.  To appreciate it and say thank you.

We are now almost 2 weeks into the incubation of the first egg - the halfway mark.  One can only wonder what is happening inside those egg shells.  The miracle of something out of nothing.  The miracle of life itself.

The 'normal' date for that egg to hatch would be June 1.  But I would not be surprised at all to see it hatch a day or two earlier than that if all goes well.  The time we all wait for.  The excitement of our first peek at that little ball of black down called a loon chick!

But there are two weeks to go until then.  And a lot can happen in two weeks.  As everyone has seen, the action on the nest can go from zero to flat out at a moment's notice.

Yesterday the loons were off the nest a number of times in the afternoon.

The reason was that there was an immature eagle flying relatively low over the lake, apparently looking for his own meal.

As you know, loons have a long history with eagles and they do not like them at all.

Then last night there was a prolonged confrontation completely with wails and tremolos and yodels and both loons were off the nest for about 20 minutes.

It started with the male broadcasting his yodel in all directions.  A call that carries very well across a lake and even into and over the surrounding woods.  He was going to make sure that anyone and everyone within earshot knew that this was HIS lake.  And he was ready to defend it.

We apparently do have another pair of loons that are nesting on the lake.  Several people have told me about it but I have not tried to go and see the nest for myself.  But it does set up a natural territorial conflict between that pair of loons and 'our' loons.

If the loons can see each other, they will confront each other and fight.  So hopefully they are able to stay out of each others sight and that they do not draw each other off their nests too often.  Some time off the nest is normal.  Too much time off the nest, especially if it is cold or rainy, could cause the eggs to cool and damage them.

I am like everyone else and anytime they are off the nest, I get concerned and 'talk' to them and tell them to get back on the nest.  Normally times off the nest of 20 or 30 minutes is not going to harm the eggs at all.  Right now we are probably at the most vulnerable time for the eggs.  The chicks have started to develop but they are not far enough along in their development that they can generate some of their own heat.

In another week to 10 days, the chick inside the egg can actually generate some of its own body heat to keep itself warm inside the egg.

But today, we watch from a distance.

And wonder at the miracle of life that is going on inside those two eggs!


Questions or Comments?  LoonCam@yahoo.com

I will try to read all emails but because of the volume of emails I will not be able to answer them personally.  I will try to address common questions here in the blog.