Sunday, June 17, 2012 8:25am CDT


65 degrees F     Clear     Calm

Sunrise  5:24am     Sunset  9:03pm


It is a spectacular summer morning.  A "Minnesota" morning.

Bright sun.  Blue sky with high wispy clouds.  And the tiniest of zephyr breezes.

Last night, I brought the nest in.  Not all the way in but about a third of the way to shore.

The chick had been on the nest at least a couple times yesterday.  One time that I saw, one of the adults came with a small sunfish in its beak.  But it would not come up to the nest.  It stayed at least 10 feet away as if trying to entice the chick to get off the nest.

About 8:30pm last night, I saw both loons and the chick were some distance away from the nest - about a quarter of a mile away.  So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start to bring the nest in.

As I waded out to disconnect the nest and bring it in, I could see the loons looking over in my direction.

They slowly began swimming toward me.  Not in any hurry.  Not with any alarm.  Just leisurely swimming in my general direction.

It gave me plenty of time to loosen the anchor rope, move the nest part way in towards shore and to re-anchor it.  I left and went up to observe what their reaction would be.

The female (I think it was the female since she seemed a little smaller than the other loon) and the chick swam to one of the buoys that surround the nest.  The other loon stayed further out in the lake swimming and preening.

The loon and the chick stopped by the buoy and just sat there looking around.  It was as if she was saying 'something is different and I am not going to take any chances'.

After some minutes, she and the chick gradually and slowly swam toward the nest.

She swam right by it.  But by the time she got 10 feet past the nest, the chick turned and swam toward it.

She finally also turned and followed the chick.  But rather than stopping she again swam by the nest and the chick followed.  By the time she got about 10 feet on the other side of the nest, the chick once again turned and swam back toward the nest.  And the adult loon followed.

This was repeated three or four different times.

It was as if she was trying to lead the chick away from the nest but the chick wanted to go back.

Finally the chick got up on the nest.  After hopping around the nest, he finally settled down and sat and looked out over his kingdom from his 'throne'.

The loon did not get up on the nest but simply swam in the area.

But then just as it was getting dark, the chick got off the nest and followed the loon out into the lake.

This morning at sunrise the loon was sitting on the nest and stayed there for about 2 hours.  I could not see if the chick was there but I assume it was.  Right now the nest is empty and the loon and the chick are swimming just a short way out into the lake.

So the mystery of why this chick is so attached to the nest continues.

This morning is the chick's 2 week birthday.  And he has grown significantly.  Here is a great picture from Travis Novitsky that will give you and idea of what 'our' chick looks like.!i=1404291920&k=zVmv3gZ&lb=1&s=X2

I have mentioned Travis to you before.  He is a great young man and a phenomenal photographer of loons and northern lights from the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe.  This is not 'our' loon but his picture of this loon  chick gives you and idea of what our  chick is like.

So I am happy to tell you once again this morning that our chick seems to be active and healthy and doing well.  And growing.

Does it get any better than that?

Happy Father's Day to every father!


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Copyright  2012    Larry Backlund