Sunday, April 29, 2012 5:24am CDT


40 degrees F   Cloudy   Wind Calm


It is a quiet but chilly morning for our loons.

Or maybe it is only chilly for us humans.  The loons seem to have more than adequate protection against the cold air and the cold water.  Right now the water is about 10 degrees warmer than the air.

Today the forecast is for temperatures to get to 66 degrees, much closer to normal.  And by the middle of the week, the temperatures should be back into the mid to upper 70s.

Both loons float calmly not too far from the nest, to the back side of the camera.  That seems to be their preferred position in the early pre-dawn for the last few mornings.  Close to the nest but not on it.

After midnight I heard one set of yodels and tremolos and other faithful watchers reported a couple other times during the night.  From the calls I heard you could tell that they were near the nest, maybe even in the same position they are now.  They seem to be staying near the nest in the dark to protect it.  However, I did not hear an answering call from other loons.

So maybe they were just putting out a 'general alarm' that we are here, this is our nest, stay away from it.

Or maybe the muskrat or beaver decided to come too close.

Once daylight actually comes so that they can visually see where danger is, they have tended to swim away from the nest and out into the lake.  And then they seem to come back a little bit later to once again check out the nest.

But for now, they keep guard near the nest.

One of these mornings, hopefully soon, all of that will change.

With the arrival of an egg, they will be nest bound for the next four weeks.

Then almost anytime you check the LoonCam you will see one of the loons on the nest.  Right now they are making the most of their freedom and spending most of the day out in the lake fishing and relaxing.  Although they never truly 'relax'.  They are always watchful and always mindful of potential danger to their nest or danger from other intruding loons.

Some people have asked about putting other nesting platforms for the other loons on the lake to use.

This has been discussed at length with Department of Natural Resources (DNR) experts and others.  The general agreement has been not to do it unless you are on a lake that has bays or places where the loons can nest out of site of each other.  If they can see each other, they will probably fight.

We are all too familiar with that.

So we wait for the arrival of the first egg.

There is no telling what time of day.  I have seen eggs laid in the  early morning.  I have seen late at night.  And just about everything in between.  Maybe if I get a chance I will go back through some of the records and data from the last several years and see if there is a pattern or preference that is obvious.  But rest assured, it is not as if they always lay the egg early in the morning.  Or always lay the egg late at night.  They seem to be equal opportunity egg layers!

So today, let's hope for a quiet and uneventful day for our loons.

And let's hope that they are able to settle into their egg-laying routine without disruptions.  When will it be?

All we can say for certain is that we are one day closer to the blessed event.



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

Copyright 2012  Larry Backlund