Tuesday, May 28, 2013 12:03am CDT

58 degrees F     Cloudy     Wind 3mph SE
Sunrise  5:30am CDT     Sunset  8:50pm CDT
I am afraid that I going to be the bearer of bad news.
News that you don't want to hear.  News that none of us want to hear.
Sometime tonight, as darkness falls, the LoonCam will also go dark for 2013.
I know it is not what you want to hear.  But it is what needs to happen.  This has been a very strange year all around and this is just one more thing that is so unexpected and so strange.
It is the first time in 10 years that this loon nest will apparently not be used.  The success of this particular nest has been the exception, not the norm.  For it to be used every year for 10 years is in itself very unusual.
It is so easy to become complacent and think that since it has been so successful, it should be used this year as well.  
But alas it doesn't seem to be in the cards for this year.
This morning the loons were in  the area of the nest but did not attempt to approach let alone get up on the nest.  Even yesterday when one of the loons did get on the nest for a few minutes, there was no nest building activity.
This has been a very difficult decision to come to.  But it is one that has to be made.
We have talked about some of the things that go into such a decision, including being fair to the neighbors and letting them use their own property this summer.
But there are a myriad of considerations that have gone into this decision.  It is not a decision that can be made for just the next day or two.  This is a decision that has to be made in what happens for the next six weeks.  Even the next 18 weeks or more.
In addition, there is a limit to how long we can block off a large section of the lake with the buoys.
There are just so many things that have had to go into this decision.
Could the loons still nest this year?
The answer is 'yes'.
Even if the loons do nest, it becomes questionable whether they will be successful in hatching chicks with the increased and intense summer activity on the lake.
Also, the successful hatching and growing of the chicks in time for them to be big enough and strong enough to fly south this fall becomes less and less likely with every passing day.  Especially since they have not even begun the whole long involved nesting process.
There are cases where a loon loses their nest to predators or other reasons.  They may actually try to nest a second time.  But the success rate of those second nests goes down rapidly.
So I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  And I know some of you are going to have a hard time accepting what must be.
But for 2013, the LoonCam will go dark late tonight.
But we can always look forward to next year.  Hope springs eternal.
And everytime we hear a loon or see a little loon chick, we will have new appreciation for all that goes into making that happen.
Copyright 2013     Larry R Backlund