60 degrees F Clear Calm
Sunrise 5:26 am CDT Sunset 8:57 pm CDT
Expected Egg Hatch Sometime June 6 - 11
Once again, a loon sits on a nest early in the morning on a northern lake that is like a sheet of glass.
In fact, we have had a shift change just a few minutes ago.
The male once again has pulled the long overnight shift of over 13 hours on the nest. And now the female has taken up the charge of guarding and warming those precious eggs!
We can only imagine the wonders going on inside those eggs.
At just about exactly the time to the minute of this last shift change when the female came on the nest is the time when the first egg was laid 24 days ago.
Based on observations from previous years that have showed incubation times as low as 25.5 days instead of the widely accepted 28 days, it is entirely possible that we are close to hatching!
Can it be possible already?
It is almost to magnificent and wonderful to even try to comprehend in those few short days, we have gone from having "nothing" inside that egg to now quite possibly having a living loon chick ready to make its way into the world.
Who can explain that kind of miracle?
Who is smart enough to understand and explain life itself?
Who among us is capable of making something as wonderful as that happen?
Certainly not me!
So once again I can only stand back in wonder and amazement and say, "God, you done good!"
Tomorrow afternoon we reach the 25 1/2 day mark for the first egg. The time when we have see eggs hatch a couple times before.
Since it takes a chick up to 24 hours of hard work to pip its way out of the egg, it is entirely possible that later today we may actually see signs of that pipping.
If you have not done so before, now is the time to tell all of your friends and family that it is time to begin watching in earnest for the miracle about to take place!
Now is the time to let all your facebook friends know. To tweet to your heart's content on twitter. And LinkedIn. And Pinterest. And tumblr. And Instagram.
Or to even use that old fashioned thing called the telephone to let your friends and family know.
For those of you who still have kids or grandkids in school, have them ask their teacher if they can watch this miracle unfold and learn from it.
It is something so special that they do not want to miss it.
And it goes so quickly. For once they hatch, the chicks are off the nest and into the water usually within
I think it is very possible that by this weekend we very well could see hatching, if they are going to hatch.
I say "if" because we would be wise to listen to the old adage and change it slightly - "Don't count your loon chicks before they hatch!"
It is hard to believe but in over 10 years that I have been doing this, this particular nest has been used every year but one! Last year, 2013.
And in those years chicks have been born almost every year. Many of the years have seen 2 chicks. In fact, most years. And that is what we want to see this year and what we hope for.
Two healthy little loon chicks.
Once again, here are a few signs to watch for.
Watch for the loon on the nest to be sitting "more lightly". Watch for twitches from the loon on the nest. A quick movement of a wing. A slight and quick readjustment of the body. Looking down as if to say 'I wonder what is going on under me.'
All of these could be signs that one of the eggs is hatching.
It is entirely possible that the chicks inside the eggs could be making movements and sounds. There are some biologists who say that one chick can 'talk' to another chick while they are inside the egg and that they actually communicate. If the chicks can do that, can they also 'talk' to the adults and vice versa?
So many questions!
Who is wise enough to know the answers and understand them?
Whatever the answers are, we know that we are one day closer to the potential hatch of the eggs we have watched for so many days.
Who knows? Maybe this is the day that we see the start of that miracle anew!
Questions or Comments? LoonCam (at) yahoo (dot) com
Copyright 2014 Larry R Backlund