65 degrees F Cloudy Wind 2 mph SW
Sunrise 5:26 am CDT Sunset 8:28 pm CDT
Our chick still seems to be doing well.
He was riding on the adult's back a few minutes ago. I assume it is the male with him.
Right now he is swimming and the adult appears to be feeding him.
I was surprised to see how far away from the nest they had moved when I came home last night. Normally they stay closer to the nest at first and then gradually expand the circle of how far they go.
But I may have found out why they have been so far from the nest.
Talking with the neighbor this morning, she said that the eagles have been harassing the loons quite a bit the last few days.
So that could very well explain why they have moved so far away from the nest.
She said she heard the loon calling loudly at one point and went to see what was happening.
The eagle was swooping right down at the loon. It was one of the mature eagles, not the immature eagle who has more often seemed to harass the loons.
She said the loon stood straight up in the water, the chick came off its back, the loon called as he "stood" straight up and pointed his beak up at the eagle that was swooping down on him.
I wish I could have seen it. I have never seen anything quite as dramatic as that.
But apparently our male was going to protect the chick at any cost.
Even at the cost of injury to himself.
So now it makes a little more sense why the loons have moved further from the nest than they normally would have at this point after the hatch.
But we seem to have one very active and healthy chick.
I have seen no sign of them returning to the nest or trying to get up on the nest. Nor had the neighbor.
So I think it is quite obvious that they have abandoned the nest and the second egg.
Their focus now is on the chick!
Last night, when I saw the loons were staying quite far away, I knew I could check to see if the egg was still there without disturbing them.
So I did go out to the nest.
The egg was still there. No predators have gotten it yet.
I picked it up and examined it very carefully. It was intact.
There were no signs of a pip or of the start of a hatch.
I listened to it and there were no sounds. Although I did not expect any after it having sat open to the elements this long. The 28th day for the second egg was on Thursday morning.
I even smelled of it but could not really detect any odor of it being rotten.
I put it back on the nest and maybe will leave it for another day or two to see what the loons do or how they react.
But fairly soon I will probably remove the egg from the nest. It is pretty obvious that it is not going to hatch at this point. And the loons themselves seem to have abandoned it.
In consultation with the DNR, we will see if we can get someone to xray the egg to glean whatever knowledge we can.
The news I would "like" to hear is that it did not develop at all.
The news I fear is that the chick had started to develop and maybe was even near hatching but then died when the male had to make the very difficult decision of did he stay on the egg or stay with the chick and protect it.
No matter which scenario plays out, we will learn more about loons.
If and when I retrieve the egg, I will let you know. And I will let you know any results from any tests that may be done on the egg. That will take some time.
I have been talking to Broadband this morning. They have been so faithful in trying to restore things. But something has changed that they have not even been able to log into the system here or the cam.
But with the loons gone, the nest abandoned and now no hope that the egg will hatch, we have decided that the LoonCam season has come to an end for this year.
We have MUCH to be thankful for.
Once again we have been able to watch our beautiful loons in a way that no one has ever been able to do before.
We have seen two eggs laid.
We have seen the one loon mature a lot this year.
We have seen flowers bloom. And loons do their own gardening and transplanting.
But best of all -
we have ONE BEAUTIFUL HEALTHY LOON CHICK!
Copyright 2015 Larry R Backlund