Tuesday, April 28, 2015 7:11 pm CDT

59 degrees     Mostly Cloudy   Wind   4 mph NW

Sunrise   6:06 am CDT     Sunset   8:15 pm CDT


Well, the suspense builds!

The male loon has been on the nest four times in the last couple hours and has done some serious nest building.

Even as I am typing this, they are back up on the nest and have mated once again.  By my count this is the 14th time.

Now the female is sitting on the nest 'mewing' a little bit (sometime soon we will take a refresher course in loon calls) and undoing some of the work the male did in building a nice deep bowl for a nest!  She is in a different spot.

Can you say "teamwork"?  lol

Then the male got back on the nest and tried to repair some of the damage with some more serious digging and nest building in his original spot..

Having the advantage of watching banded loons, we can now tell who is on the nest and who does what.  Something that in the past researchers could only guess at.

What has been so interesting to me is that the male has been doing probably 80% of the nest building.

Which raises an even deeper question for me.  HOW does the male know that it is getting close to the female's time to lay an egg.  Obviously he cannot feel an egg growing inside his body.

So how does he know that it is growing inside her body?

Do they talk?  If so, how?  And what kind of information is passed from one loon to the other?  And how does he know the time is imminent and a nest must be built?

Things too Wonderful to comprehend.

As usual, when we think we have answered one question a whole host of other questions are raised.  

How wonderful to be able to watch and learn!

This increased urgency of nest building is exactly what we have been waiting for!

Continue to watch to see how often they visit the nest and how long they stay and how serious they are about nest building.

The next thing to watch for is the behavior of the female.

One of the times when she has gotten on the nest and settled into the bowl of the nest, she will start to act differently.

She will sort of crawl up on the edge of the nest and she will obviously be straining.  She will probably spread her wings out somewhat to brace herself.

This whole procedure will probably take several minutes.

Then in one sudden movement, the egg will pop out and rest in the bottom of the bowl.

The female may remain on the edge of the nest for some minutes totally exhausted.  And then she will probably leave the nest and get in the water.

But they will not leave the egg unattended for long.

For the next month the male and the female will take turns incubating that precious egg.  And hopefully in a couple days, they will add a second egg to their nest.

Excitement builds.

The egg could come at any moment.

Do NOT miss it!


Copyright  2015     Larry R Backlund