50 degrees F Partly Cloudy Wind Calm
Sunrise 5:28 am CDT Sunset 8:55 pm CDT
Amazingly, the female has just returned!
She is now up on the nest at 4:47 am CDT and on the second egg as if nothing happened.
The male has had the chick on his back all night long as he circled the nest, staying very close.
He tried doing both - incubating the egg AND protecting the chick.
He made heart wrenching calls over and over. But to no avail. There was no answer.
So finally when he left the nest for the fourth time to take care of the chick, he stayed in the water with the chick on his back for the rest of the night.
It seemed as if he had made the difficult decision to protect the life he knew - the chick - versus the uncertainty of life in the egg.
It was so difficult to watch. And so few options to do anything helpful.
The egg lay uncovered for just under six hours.
Was that long enough to damage it? Only time will tell.
At this stage of development, the chick generates a lot of its own body heat inside the egg. And the temperatures were not extreme overnight - down to 50 degrees this morning.
But was that six hours of being exposed to those temperatures enough to damage the egg?
Once again, more questions and few answers. We can only wait and hope.
It is still very strange to me how the female just left. And the male desperately tried to take care of both the egg and the chick.
Why she did not respond to his desperate cries is a mystery.
Any of his calls could easily be heard around the lake. Especially his loud yodels. But there was no answer.
Yet this morning, when the male wailed several times at 4:30 am, the female immediately answered and came in. And she got up on the nest as usual.
So now we wait to see what today brings.
Until last night my guess would have been that the second chick would have hatched today.
We could use a day without any drama.
AND a second chick!
Copyright 2015 Larry R Backlund