69 degrees F Mostly Cloudy Wind 5mph SE
Sunrise 5:56 am CDT Sunset 8:24 pm CDT
The payoff for all your faithful hours and days and weeks of watching has begun.
At least a partial payoff. Hopefully one more egg to come. And then the real payoff - 2 little black downy chicks!
After a number of false alarms over the last couple days, the female decided that she could wait no longer.
I had finally gone to bed about 1 am thinking that nothing else was going to happen.
But at 2:31 am CDT, with most of us sleeping she laid the first egg.
It didn't come easy but come it did.
She pushed and pushed and pushed. And finally POP! There was the egg.
She almost fell on her head in complete exhaustion.
If you missed it, boxers12002 was able to catch it on video! You can find it on YouTube as well as Larry's Loon Lovers on Facebook.
The egg appears at the 7:58 mark on the video.
It is something that VERY few people in the world ever have a chance to see. And until the LoonCam, something that very few loon researchers had ever seen.
Now the countdown begins. The countdown to hatching of our little loons.
For the next month, one of the loons will be on the nest the majority of the time.
A number of people have asked if the egg will be ok because after the female loon laid the egg, she left the nest. The egg was uncovered for about 5 hours before the male loon returned to the nest and began sitting on the egg.
The temperature got down to 39 degrees this morning. So the question is will that hurt the egg?
The egg should be ok.
I have checked with a couple of experts and they agree that since it is this early there should be no problem with the egg being left exposed. So hopefully that helps to put your mind at ease.
Now if it was a couple weeks from now and the egg lay exposed to cold for several hours, that could be a different situation. And that may damage the developing chick in the egg.
But at this stage, the egg should be fine.
As long as it is fertilized (which it should be with all the mating we have observed!), the egg should develop normally.
Now we wait for the second egg.
Loons normally lay two eggs.
Sometimes they will lay only one. And rarely they will lay 3 eggs.
The eggs are large and they require a lot of energy for the loon to produce an egg. So all their energy is devoted to producing two viable eggs.
I would expect the second egg will be laid in the next two days, maybe three.
At that point incubation begins in earnest.
And even though the eggs are laid 2 or 3 days apart, they usually hatch within one day of each other. Another loon miracle that we may talk about at some point.
But right now we have an egg on the nest.
And you are almost guaranteed to see a loon around whenever you look in.
So grab the kids and the cats and grandma!
It is SHOWTIME!
Copyright 2015 Larry R Backlund