Sunday, June 3, 2012 8:59pm CDT


The sun has just set.

The western sky is painted with oranges and golds.

The blazing colors are reflected in the absolutely calm waters of a northern Minnesota lake.

No artist could do justice to the scene.

And an artist could never do justice to the justice to the picture of a loon on a nest with a beautiful downy black ball of fuzz that is a newly hatched loon chick.

So the sun sets on our little loonling.  Let us hope and pray that he has a quiet and peaceful night and stays on the nest until at least tomorrow morning.  The lake is big and dark and scary to a little loon chick.

He has already gone for a swim!

I watched holding my breath as time and time again he struggled to get back up on the nest where his dad was.  He almost did it several times but not quite.  He called and called.  And dad called and called.

He didn't know where the 'chick ramp' was that was put there just for him.  Just for a time such as this.

Somewhere out in the lake, mom heard and came back.

Dad got back in the water, too.

And our little loon was soon up on one of the parent's back, safe and sound.

But the drama was not over yet.  The reason the loon had left the nest again was that a pontoon boat had stopped much too close to the nest.  He was just outside the buoys but he was still too close for a pair of loons with a brand new chick.  

And they made their displeasure known with their calls.

I finally got his attention and motioned for him to move away.  He graciously immediately did just that.

I am still not totally sure how the got back up on the nest.  One of the adults got back up on the nest and the second egg almost as soon as the pontoon had left.

My heart sank when I looked for the chick.  I expected it to be with the other loon which had now moved out beyond the buoy.  But I did not see a chick swimming alongside the adult.  I tried to convince myself that there was a bulge under the wing.  If there was a bulge, it was awfully small.

My concern grew about where the chick was.

Then when I looked back to the nest, I saw a distinct form on the loon's back.  So I came back to the LoonCam and was so relieved when I saw that the chick was under the wing!

How he got there, I am not sure.  He must have been under the wing when the loon jumped back up on the nest.  That is unusual because I have seen numerous times when the chick is on the back of the loon and the loon jumps up on the nest, the chick goes unceremoniously flying back into the water.

However he got there, the important thing is that he is safely sheltered under the wing of the adult loon on the nest.

Let us hope and pray for a quiet and uneventful night.  And a SAFE night.

This chick has already had too many adventures in his short life!


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

Copyright  2012    Larry Backlund