Saturday, June 16, 2012 8:26am CDT


70 degrees F     Cloudy     Calm

Sunrise  5:24am     Sunset  9:03pm


Our little chick has just come back to the nest and got up on it.

The adult floats peacefully near the nest as the little one sits up there.

For whatever reason, the chick seems to like to come back to the nest or need to come back to the nest.

It is something that I have never seen before.  One can only wonder how many times it happens in the wild where we never see it.  It is definitely the chick bringing the adults back to the nest and not the other way around.

Many times the adults do not even get on the nest at all while he is up there.  A few other times the adults have gone swimming off by themselves while the chick stayed on the nest.

Once again, we are learning more by watching behavior a little closer.  Behavior that we are never able to see on 99.9% of wild loon nests.  Unfortunately we are not able to see it as up close as we could with the LoonCam.

It appears and that the problem is not a 'quick fix' andthat the camera will not be up again this year.  So we are thankful for the wonderful days of viewing that we had this year and we look forward to next year.  Thank you to all of you who so faithfully have watched the Loon Cam have so meticulously documented the behaviors that you have observed.  You are wonderful.

The main thing for you this morning is that the chick is healthy and doing well.

He spends most of the day away from the nest with the adults.  But still comes back once in a while.

They have ranged further and further away from the nest, sometimes being fully a third of the way around the lake.  So that has been good to see.

Tomorrow morning is the two week birthday of our loon chick.

I will probably bring the nesting platform in towards shore within the next day or two.  I won't take it out of the water.  I will leave it in the water in case the chick actually 'needs' to use it for some reason.  It will just be a little closer to shore.  We will see if that is enough to break the chick's bond with the nest or not.

It definitely is still the chick that is bringing the parents back to the nest and not the other way around.

So we will see how much it takes to break that bond with the nest and let the loons get on with their lives.

I was just talking to my cousin who was watching a pair of loons on their lake with one little chick this morning.  From the size of the chick, it sounds like it is less than a week old.  Last night he watched as an eagle swooped down on the chick, fully expecting to see the eagle take the chick.

But the little chick was able to dive and escaped the eagle.

The eagle came back again and the chick dove.

And yet a third time.  And the chick dove again and the eagle gave up.

It is unusual for a chick that young to be able to dive that much to get away from an eagle.  But it did.  And it survived and was swimming with the adults this morning as we talked.

I watched our chick a couple days ago as he dove several times.  Not from danger but seemingly just doing it for practice or for fun.

On one of his dives he was under for a full 13 seconds and swam underwater for 25 or 30 feet.  It surprised me how far he could already swim underwater at only 10 days old.

Both adults were swimming near the nest a few minutes ago.  One of them had a small sunfish in its beak.  It swam near the chick sitting on the nest.  But it did not get close enough to actually give the sunfish to the chick.  It stayed just out of reach of the chick.  It was as if it was saying, 'Come here.  You have to come here to get breakfast.  You have  to get off the nest.  I am not bringing it to you.'

He is doing well.  Strong.  Healthy.  Active.  He just likes the nest at times.

And right now it is raining heavily.  But that is nothing to the loons.  They don't care if the water is coming from above or below.  They are just happy with water.


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Copyright  2012   Larry Backlund