Monday, June 16, 2014 6:59 am CDT

58 degrees F     Clear and Sunny     Calm

5:28 am CDT     9:03 pm CDT

It is a spectacular blue-sky Minnesota morning.

A calm lake.


Does life get any better or more beautiful than this?

A little while ago, I was able to spot one of the loons with both chicks swimming by him.  The chicks have both made it through another night and are active and healthy.

And then the other loon appeared with a minnow.

Right now, both loons are quietly floating together and relaxing on a lake that is calm and serene.  Apparently both chicks have climbed up on their parents backs because I can only see what looks like a 'bulge' which I assume is chicks under the wing.

It was one week ago this morning that the second chick jumped into the water without a moments hesitation, as dad left the nest.  Only 12 hours old and he already knew how to be a loon!

Is it only a week?

It seems so much longer than that.

But our chicks have safely made it through the critical first week of life when they are so vulnerable to so many dangers.

They have already noticeably grown as those of you who were watching yesterday morning saw very clearly.

I was just about ready to walk out the door to go to church when I saw one of the loons approaching the platform.  So I stopped to watch.  He had one chick on his back and the other swimming alongside him.

To my surprise, he jumped up on the nest as the chick on his back was unceremoniously dumped in the water.

It was the male.  He was back on the nest.

I thought he would only be on the nest for a minute or two like he had been in the past.

But he had other ideas.

He sat on the nest and mewed over and over.

The two chicks swam along the front edge of the nest looking and pecking at things on the frame of the nest.  But they did not try to get up on the nest like their dad had done.  He kept mewing.  And sitting.

One minute.  

Two minutes.

Three minutes.

At one point, the female came with a minnow for the chicks and then swam off.  One of the chicks made a half-hearted attempt to get up on the nest.  He splashed as his stunning little white breast pressed up against the nest.  But he gave up after only a few seconds of trying.  That place was not for him.

After watching for over 10 minutes and being late for church, I finally left with the male loon still on the nest and the chicks swimming alongside the nest.

When I came home later in the day, I was surprised to read how long the male had remained on the nest.  According to my notes, he got up on the nest at 10:47 am.  And according to viewers in chat he stayed up there until 11:33 am!  A full 46 minutes.

I hear that there are lots of pictures and even a video or two that you faithful viewers have posted.  I have not had time to check them out but I look forward to doing so when I have some time.  You have done such a great service for everyone to document these behaviors.

Like some said, they wondered if he knew the LoonCam was going off and he came to say goodbye.

Or others who said it was so appropriate for him to do that especially on Father's Day.

Whatever the reason for his behavior, it was such a fitting epitaph to the end of the season on the LoonCam!

He certainly deserves a lot of credit for his faithfulness from the very beginning of nest building all the way through incubation.

And if the female was a young and immature mother, she sure has come a long way in understanding what must be done.  For now she is so faithful and always there caring for their chicks.

This has been a wonderful year.

In spite of lightning destroying almost all the equipment necessary to bring you the LoonCam, we were able to rebuild everything and bring you these marvelous views of our loons.

A great thank you goes out to Minnesota Bound and especially the wonderful people at Broadband Corporation for their tireless work to make everything work!

But the best part of all is that we have 2 healthy active loon chicks!

They still are very vulnerable for the next week especially.

They still cannot dive well, even though they try.  They just pop back up to the surface like a cork.

But they will gradually get better at that and they will get bigger.  They will have more of a chance avoiding danger.

If they survive the next week, the odds go up dramatically that they will grow to full size.  But there are many dangers still ahead for our  pair of little loons.

I will periodically try to update you especially if there is any news.  Or just to let you know that the chicks are doing ok.

Once again, let me say THANK YOU to all of you who have been a part of such a special year here on the LoonCam!  Or as many of you have called yourselves, "loonatics".

That fits for so many of us who have allowed the loons and especially those little chicks to capture our hearts in such a short time.

Questions or Comments?  LoonCam at yahoo dot com

Copyright 2014     Larry R Backlund