Saturday, May 26, 2012 5:44am CDT


54 degrees F    Partly Cloudy     Wind  2mph NNE

Sunrise  5:31am    Sunset  8:38pm


It has been a quiet night for the loons.

And quiet for the last day or so.  Let's hope that continues.

We have had enough drama this year for two or three 'loon seasons'.

We are now officially into the Memorial Day weekend.  And thousands if not millions of people have headed to the lakes all across the country.  This is the first big summer holiday weekend for people here in the United States.

Wherever you are, I hope that you will take a few minutes to stop and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can have the freedoms that we so often take for granted.  Whether you are here in the United States or anywhere around the world remember what others have sacrificed for you..

Here at the loon nest the forecast today is for more thunderstorms throughout the day.  While that will help to keep down the boat traffic on the lake, the last thing that we need right now is more water.  We have had enough to last us for a while.

We have passed the mid-point 'hump' for the eggs and we are now on the downward slope toward the expected hatching.

Let me go out on a limb here and make some predictions - a very dangerous thing to do!  Especially this year.

The 'normal' expected hatch dates would be the evening of June 4th for the first egg and the morning of June 7th for the second egg.

However, if the eggs hatch, I would expect those dates to be earlier.

I would expect that the hatching will take place sometime between June 2nd and June 4th.  There I have said it.  How silly is that of me to even speculate on when it will be when everything else has been so different this year?

Let me give you a broader range of dates as well.

I would be very surprised to see any hatching before June 1st.  And I would not start worrying about a potential hatch until we reach June 9th or 10th.  If we get to the 9th or the 10th and there has been no hatching, then concern would start to build as to whether the eggs will hatch.

But this morning, the loon once again sits on the eggs, ever so patient.

I often ask myself if I would ever be willing to do something like that.

But the loons do it day after day.

One thing this year that is so different is that you have to give the male credit for the amount of time he has spent on the nest.  He has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Normally the male and the female loon share nesting duties almost equally.  Some studies have shown that the female spends slightly more time on the nest than the male.  Maybe 60% to 40%.

Bu this year on this nest, the male has spent much more time on the nest than the female.

Tomorrow the forecast is for the temperatures to reach 90 degrees and sunny for most of the day.  That means that many people will come to the lake tomorrow and it will be a very, very busy day on the lake.  

Boaters, fishermen, water skiiers, swimmers.  Just about any activity you can imagine.

So even if the wind is calm tomorrow, you will probably see waves from the boat wakes hitting the nest.

This floating nest can normally ride up and over those waves.  But natural nests can be washed away by high boat wakes.  The rise in the lake level because of the heavy rain and the length of one anchor rope is still a concern.  There are no easy answers of what to do, if anything, about that.

But we will watch it closely.

All of you know how very averse I am to ever approach the nest while the loons are on it.

So let us hope for the best.  No more significant amounts of rain out of these thunderstorms today.  And no large boat wakes tomorrow and Monday.

If you are going to be out on the lakes or if you have friends and family that will be, a very gentle reminder to be aware of boat wakes near shore or especially near loon nests would be in order.

Today, we can think about the miracle that is going on inside each of those eggs.  The miracle of life itself.

Such things are too wonderful and too big to even try to understand.  How a living breathing little loon chick comes from egg white and egg yolk.  The very things that we so blithely eat for breakfast on so many mornings.

Yet that is what is happening right now.

And we have the privilege to be ringside spectators of this miracle of life itself.


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

Copyright  2012     Larry Backlund