Friday, April 24, 2015 9:25 am CDT

45 degrees   Cloudy   Wind 3mph NE

Sunrise  6:13 am CDT     Sunset   8:10 pm CDT


The loons have already been up on the nest and mated again this morning.

Each day we get closer to the exciting time when the first egg is laid.  And the countdown clock begins.

There have been continuing questions about if this is the same pair as last year.

I have not been able to/taken the time to see if I can see their bands to identify them.  But it has been my 'feeling' that it is the same pair.


Here are some of the reasons.  But only definitively seeing the bands will tell us for sure.  Both loons are banded, which argues that it we have had contact with them before.  It still could be the 'other pair' on the lake which we have also banded.  But that would mean we also had a territory change.

They seemed to recognize that this was the place where the nest had been even before I got the nest in the water.  They swam in close to shore and watched me as I was working on getting the nest in the lake.

They seem to recognize the nest and the surrounding area and took ownership of it very early.

But all of those are just circumstantial reasons until we get a good view of the bands.

 I got a note yesterday from Kevin Kenow.

Kevin is the person from the USGS that did the banding and has had a multi-year project studying loons.  He knows them better than almost anyone else.

Kevin watched yesterday's video of the loon/goose confrontation on the nest and here is what he said:

"Hi Larry,

Thanks for sharing this great video clip!  It appears that the aggressive loon is the female banded last summer...I got a glimpse of the green/silver band combination on the right leg as the loon was exiting the platform.


So it looks like it IS the female that we banded last year.  I would trust Kevin's eyes and opinion over almost anyone else.  And I think I have gotten a glimpse of the blue stripe band on the male, but not good enough view that I would swear to it.

And it is also fascinating that apparently it is the new female that was the one who got up on the nest and actually chased the goose away!  She has definitely taken strong ownership of the nest.

When they start nesting, we will have many opportunities to get better views of the bands.  But for now it looks like the female is the one we banded last summer.  And probably it is our male from the last several years.


Copyright 2015     Larry R Backlund