Tuesday, April 14, 2015 10:26 pm CDT

52 degrees     Clear     Wind  Calm

Sunrise   6:30 am CDT     Sunset   7:58 pm CDT


This has been a busy day for our loons!

It has been a beautiful Minnesota spring day with temperatures well above average.  It got up to 76 degrees here at "loon lake" today.

Beautiful blue skies and gentle warm breezes.

Our loons have seemed to take ownership of the nest and have mated on it twice .... one time was a pretty clumsy attempt that I am not sure was an actual mating.

But they seem to consider the nest theirs.  And they are willing to defend it.

They have chased geese off the nest at least once today.  (I chased the geese off tonight when the loons were occupied on another part of the lake!)

They were occupied with an "intruder loon" today.

And then tonight there was yet another loon that showed up.  I don't think that those loons  are a 'pair' but they could be.  My best guess - but it is only a guess - is that it is two single males.

It could very well be young loons that were hatched on this lake 3 years ago.

And our loons do not like that they are around.  Nor do they suffer their presence lightly.

At least three times today, there has been an all out confrontation between our pair and the single loon.  Confrontations that have included tremolos and yodels that you have heard.  Excited diving.  Penguin dances.  And even prolonged chases across the surface of the water.

All behaviors that are very stressed and confrontational.

Our loons do not want these other loons in their territory or around their nest.

If you have not ever seen a "penguin dance", let me try to give you a couple pictures so that you know what it looks like when loons do a penguin dance.  Hopefully you can see these pictures.  It doesn't look like I can post the actual picture for you so here are links.



The penguin dance is a very strong statement by a loon that they do not like what is going on and are willing to fight.

So even as they had to keep on eye on these other two loons, they also had to keep an eye on the Canada geese who were out house shopping and seemed to want to move into the loons house.  But the loons had other ideas.

One of the other things that I have been meaning to mention is that if you listen carefully at night, some of the background noise you hear are thousands of seagulls.  It is very loud in person but I am not sure it comes through over the computer.

Some of the seagulls have already moved on as the ice goes out of more and more lakes.  But there are still a lot of them around.  Listen for them at night.

But even as I type this the confrontations between the loons are still going on.  With tremolos and yodels and wails.

It is that beautiful and haunting sound of the great north as the calls echo back and forth across the lake.

But I must admit I enjoyed the calls much more before I knew what the yodel and tremolo actually meant.

So sit back and just enjoy the beauty of the calls.


Copyright  2015    Larry R Backlund