Wednesday, May 16, 2012 6:33am CDT

There are WAY too many things that are very interested in the nest this year!
For those of you watching right now, you heard those excited calls and saw the hasty exit the loon made from the nest in one big splash.
I immediately looked to see what was bothering her.
And I saw nothing more than a crow flying over.  And a pair of geese and 5 goslings on my lawn (which alarmed ME!).
But I could not see anything else that should have alarmed the loon.
But then it appeared from behind the trees.
An eagle with a crow in full pursuit!
The eagle swooped down toward the nest and the loon beat a quick exit into the water with a loud splash and a loud call.
Three separate times the eagle swooped down toward the nest!
There was no doubt that it was targeting the nest and the eggs which now lay exposed.
This is the closest that I have ever seen an eagle come to the nest.  At most it was only 10 feet above the nest on each of its swoops.  And each time the loon called loudly from the water and splashed as it went toward where the eagle was.
My heart was in my throat.
Would we actually watch an eagle take the eggs?
It was  a distinct possibility!
But after three swoops right toward the nest, the eagle flew off.
I think the willow branches more than did their duty this morning.  If they had not been there and if the eagle had been able to land on the nest unobstructed without tangling it huge wings in the willow branches, we may not have had two loon eggs on the nest right now.
So much for what I said earlier this morning about this promising to be a more peaceful day for our loons!
This is the perfect example of why loons are so concerned anytime an eagle is in the area.  They will react immediately to an eagle whereas they will not react to other birds of similar size like osprey and great blue herons.  There is a long history between loons and eagle that goes back into the mists of time.
And the loons have learned well that when they see an eagle, it means danger.  Danger to them.  To their nest.  And too their eggs.
But for now, peace has returned to the lake.
The loon is safely ensconced on the nest.
Looking like it doesn't have a care in the world.  
But that is deceptive.  The loon is EVER alert for danger that can strike at any moment!
Let's hope that there are not any more incidents like this today.  Or any other day.