Thursday, April 26, 2012 5:39 am CDT


45 degrees F   Partly Cloudy   WInd  10 mph N

Sunrise 6:06am CDT   Sunset 8:13pm CDT


The fierce wind that you heard late last night has brought in a new weather system with it.

A colder weather system.

After a high of 80 degrees F for the last couple days, temperatures are not forecast to reach more than the mid 50s for the next several days.

There are waves on the lake this morning.  Not huge.  But enough to bounce a boat around.  What we Minnesotans call "walleye chop".  This morning a heavy walley chop.  And enough to bounce the nest around.

Off to one side, not too far away, sits one of the loons in the first light of day.  Ever vigilant.  Ever watching.  Ever ready to defend its hard won territory from all intruders, foreign and domestic.  Whether it be a goose or a muskrat or a beaver or even another loon.

Bouncing on the waves is nothing new for them.  They are used to water and waves and wind.

Last night after dark, there were more yodels and tremolos.

But as far as I could tell, there were no actual confrontations between the loons.

It was one loon hollering across  the lake, "This is MY territory!  You stay away."  And then another loon across the lake answering, "Oh yeah?  Well this is MY territory over here and you just stay where you are."

Hopefully the territorial issue is starting to get resolved and the loons can get down to the business at hand.

That of laying eggs.

From the signs I have seen so far, I don't think an egg is imminent but that could change at a moment's notice.

Before the territorial fights started almost a week ago, I had thought that we were very close to egg laying by all the signs.  But that has changed somewhat over the last week.  But at this stage things could change very quickly.  It is impossible to tell what is going on inside that loons body.  There are probably egg(s) being readied.  But how far along are they?  That is an unanswerable but amazing question.

A loon egg is very large.

Probably equivalent in volume to three chicken eggs.

The USDA classifies a chicken egg as "large" if it is about 57 grams.

The loon eggs that I retrieved off the nest two years ago that were not viable weighed 140 grams and 150 grams.  They both floated so they were lighter than a normal egg would have been.  This was after sitting out for over a month so they  probably lost some of their original weight.

So the next time you make your three egg omelet for breakfast, stop to think that that is about how much egg a loon must produce.  Twice.

It is those eggs we wait to see.


Questions or Comments?   LoonCam(at)yahoo(dot)com

Copyright 2012  Larry Backlund