Friday, May 4, 2012 6:09am CDT


50 degrees F   Mostly Cloudy   Wind 5mph NE

Sunrise  5:56am     Sunset  8:23pm


Our loons have been up on the nest already this morning for a very brief visit.

But so far no egg.  So once again we can only watch and wait.  The egg will come.  In its time, not ours.

In the early morning light, you can see how deep and perfectly formed the loons have made the nest bowl.  In the high light of midday, it looks much flatter and you can't really see how well formed it is.

The next several days promise more rain and scattered thunderstorms.  Nothing is predicted to be severe but then severe weather usually does not give a long warning of its arrival.  But until there is an egg on the nest, the loons can handle almost anything.

Let me give you a couple hints of what to watch for that signals that we are getting nearer to laying an egg.

First of all, we have seen some of the signs.

An increased frequency of visits to the nest.  And longer visits.

When she is getting close to laying an egg, you will see more subtle body movements as she sits on the nest.

Then she will sort of crawl up on the edge of the nest bowl and spread her wings to brace herself.  You will see increased small body movements that indicate the egg is moving down through the egg canal inside her body.

And then the egg will just pop out.

Most of the times I have observed it, it has happened fairly quickly.  Within just a couple minutes from start to finish.  But last year or the year before, I forget which without looking back at the records, she struggled mightily to lay that first egg.  I started to get concerned about her.

But then the egg did appear.

However, after she laid the egg, she stayed on the nest for almost half an hour.  Most of the time with her wings spread as she just laid there.  Totally exhausted.

It was difficult to watch. I began to wonder if she had injured herself in that difficult egg laying.  But soon she recovered and back into the water she went.

Her second egg that year was laid with much less difficulty.

Most of the time the second egg is laid a couple days after the first egg.

So once again today, we wait.

It is all up to the loons now.

Even if we wanted to, there is nothing we could do to speed things up or slow things down.

We are mere spectators in the great drama of life.

A drama that happens around us every day.  But a drama that we very seldom get to witness and observe up close like we do here at the LoonCam.

So enjoy it today.  As the next act of this great drama unfolds.


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Copyright 2012  Larry Backlund