Wednesday, May 4, 2011 11:40pm CDT


54 degrees   Partly Cloudy   Wind  Calm


Tonight was the payoff for all of you who were so faithful in watching our loons.


After a very active evening of the loons being on and off the nest, manic nest building.

Then she just settled down as if she was already sitting on an egg.

But within a couple minutes she was up on the side of the nest and it was obvious that this was the real deal.

She spread her wings to steady herself and you could see the convulsions as she tried to move the egg along.  She was sitting in a perfect position to be able to observe the whole egg laying process.

Very quickly you could see the  egg start to appear.

With several mighty pushes, the egg popped out!

She lay on the side of the nest, wings outspread and her left leg extended back.  She was obviously exhausted from the effort.  Even though the whole thing had taken only about 5 minutes, it had been a difficult laying.

Then she did something I have never observed before.

Most of the other times I have observed a loon laying an egg, they will sit there for a few minutes and then leave the nest and get back in the water.

She did not move for over half an hour!

She lay there with her wings outspread and left leg extended back, never moving.  She simply moved her head around and was obviously alert.  But she never moved.  It was as if she had had a spinal block.

For those of you who missed it, rgeegee has posted on wonderful video on YouTube.

After about 20 minutes, it started to concern me a little bit.  Not overly concerned but since I had never seen anything like this, I began to wonder what was going on.

Finally after 34 minutes she got up, rolled the egg and sat down on it.

But then she did not move from that position for almost exactly one hour!

She finally slipped off the nest into the lake and into the darkness.  Which is where she is right now.

For those of you who may be concerned about the egg laying unguarded on the nest, it should be ok.

At this stage it can cool off without any harm.  The only danger would be frost and there is no frost forecast for tonight.

The other danger would be predators.  But eagles and seagulls would not pose a threat in the darkness.  And the muskrat that has visited the nest several times in the last few days also should not pose a threat since they are vegetarians.  If a mink or raccoon came up on the platform, either of them would be a great threat to the egg.  We have both mink and raccoons around the lake but I have never seen one of them near the nest.

The other animal that could be a threat would be a beaver.  There are a number of beavers in the area and they have been up on the nest in years past.  They would not eat the egg but simply because of their size could accidentally crush it.

But I do not worry that the egg will be in danger tonight.

So now we start the countdown to the second egg in 2 or 3 days and the hatching around June 1st!

The excitement builds.

Time to tell everyone to join you in watching the LoonCam.  And time especially to encourage your children's teachers to use it as a teaching opportunity.  Or for those of you who are teachers, to use this as a wonderful and unique opportunity to excite your students with something they will never be able to see in any other way than on the LoonCam!


Questions or Comments?