Friday, May 29, 2014 8:22 pm CDT

82 degrees F     Clear     Wind SE 3 mph

Sunrise   5:29 am CDT     Sunrise   8:52 pm CDT

Expected Egg Hatch Sometime Friday, June 6 to June 11

We are exactly one half hour from sunset.

Then starts twilight.  The magical time of night.

Tonight promises to be another warm and quiet night.

But then by tomorrow afternoon, rain storms are supposed to move in and last through Monday.  That should cool the temperatures off a little bit and give the loons some relief on the nest.  I think that the temperature on the nest again today had to be well above 90 degrees.

So cooler temperatures will be welcome for the loons.

Plus we can use some rain.  And the plants on the nest I am sure can also use some rain.

Nothing much has changed much with the nest.

The male continues to do the majority of time on the nest.  The female continues to be very shy but she has been faithful at remaining on the nest.

For those of you who are new, many of the good people have been kind enough to answer many of your questions.  One of the recurring questions is how do you tell the difference between a male and female loon.

It is almost impossible to tell the difference between the male and the female just by looking at them.  Most "experts" cannot do it with any reliability without examining the loon.  I cannot do it most of the time.

In general, the male is slightly larger than the female.  But even that is hard to use as a reliable gauge unless you see them next to each other.

The only reliable way of telling the male from the female here on the LoonCam is that the male is banded and the female is not banded.

What do I mean when I say "banded"?

Bands are identification markers which are placed around the leg of the loon.

Our male has two bands on his right leg.

In the US Geological service records, they are "blue stripe over silver".  The blue stripe band is for visual identification.  The silver band is a US Fish and Wildlife Service band that has a number on it that is unique to this particular loon.  There is no other loon in the world with that number.

On the loon's left leg is a data recorder.

It has been recording exactly where the loon has traveled.

We banded this male and his female partner, another pair of loons and 2 out of 3 chicks in the summer of 2012.  We were not able to band the chick off the LoonCam nest because he was a little too small at the time we did the banding.  

We apparently lost that chick a few weeks later.  I cannot say for sure how but I suspect that it may have been taken by an eagle.

Last year this male returned with a different female.  An unbanded female.  I suspect that the female with him this year is the same one that was with him last year when they did not nest.  I cannot say for sure but it is an "educated" guess.

So as you watch the loons get on and off the nest, watch for the bands on the legs of the male and watch and you will see that there are no bands on the legs of the female.

That is the ONLY way that any of us can tell for sure which loon is which.

So enjoy doing your own detective work over the next few days while we wait for the BIG EVENT!

The hatching of the eggs.

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

Copyright 2014  Larry R Backlund