Sunday, April 23, 2017 9:42 am CDT

48 degrees F   Sunny   Wind NE 6mph

Sunrise  6:14 am CDT    Sunset 8:09 pm CDT


If it is spring in Minnesota, that means LOONS.

If there are loons, that means the LoonCam!

The LoonCam is LIVE once again.

With all the suspense.  With all the drama.  With all the unknowns of what is going to happen this year.

Will we have loons use the nest?

Will they lay eggs?  Will the eggs hatch?  Will we see those beautiful, cute little chicks?  Even for an instant before they leave?  Will the chicks survive to adulthood?

What drama will we witness this year?  It always seems like there is something that no one ever anticipates.

So many questions.  And so few answers.

We only find the answers as the drama unfolds while we watch.  And learn.  And there is SO much to learn.

So now is the time to prepare yourself for this year's soap opera "Days of Our Loons"!

Let your friends and family know about the LoonCam so that they can join you in the joy and wonder of loons that you have found.  

What a wonderful way to spend time with your kids and grandkids.  And maybe even your great-grandkids.  Making memories that they will never forget for the rest of their lives.

The signs that the nest may get used this year are very encouraging.

As many of you will remember, the male from the LoonCam was killed in August of 2015.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources was initially very encouraged that we would be able to find out what happened to him and what caused his death.

Unfortunately they were not able to determine the cause of death.  So we will probably never know what killed him.

As you know, because of his death, the nest was not used last year.  The female came back.  But she did not have a mate so she did not nest.  She still showed some ownership of the nest, but she could not nest.

A couple other pairs of loons also showed some interest in the nest last year but they did not nest on it either.

So now the question is WILL some loons use the nest?  And 'who are they'?

We will only know by watching.

There is one pair of loons that has already shown a lot of interest in the nest.  Some of you saw them yesterday.

Even before I put the nest in the lake several days ago, they were showing interest.

I was working on the nest down by the lake.  I turned around and saw them very close in "spying".

What do I mean by "spying"?

Loons will do something that I call "submarining".  They will swim completely submerged with only the top of their head out of the water.  By doing this, they can see what is going on without being seen.

So as I turned and looked, both loons were close by, "submarining" as they watched me work.  That alone told me that one or both of them were somewhat familiar with the area and with me.  There is no other logical explanation of why they would come in so close to observe what was going on.

Then yesterday I saw three instances of a pair of loons - I assume the same pair - coming in and swimming around the nest.  There may have been more times but I saw three times.

They swam right by the nest.  So they obviously were very interested in it although they did not get up on the nest, as far as I saw.

But what was even more encouraging than them swimming by the nest, each time one of the loons did some excited "splash diving".  So it was more than just a casual observation of the nest.  There seemed to be some real interest in and excitement about the nest.

So I think that was a very hopeful sign that they may use the nest.

They swam and dove around the nest once in the morning, once in the late afternoon and one more time early evening.

So it is a consistent interest that kept them coming back throughout the day.

I have not seen them yet today but that does not mean they have not been in to the nest and I just missed them.

With all of our eyes watching, we can better keep track of what is happening.  And your eyes are crucial.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy LOONCAM SEASON 2017!


Copyright 2017   Larry R Backlund