87 degrees F Partly Cloudy Wind 4 mph S
Sunrise 5:42 am CDT Sunset 8:38 pm CDT
It is a warm, partly cloudy day today.
With temperatures in the 80s and humidity, it feels more like summer than spring.
And while the last several house have been very calm and quiet for our loons, the day did not start out that way!
Earlier this morning, in the light rain, our loon left the nest and the eggs were exposed to the rain and cool of the morning for almost an hour.
First both loons were calling over and over because there was an eagle in the area. Then the male got on the nest just short of an hour with the nest exposed. But he left almost immediately as a loon was flying overhead calling with 'flying tremolos'.
As one of our pair was swimming back in towards the nest, an immature eagle swooped down and flew low over it. The loon wailed and desperately dove underwater to escape.
The only a few minutes after that, both of our loons were well out into the lake, confronting a third loon, an 'intruder' loon. That apparently was the loon that had just flown over a few minutes before.
There was no real battle between the three loons out there but there definitely was a face -off.
As if that was not enough, while our loons were out confronting the intruder and letting him know that he was not welcome in this neighborhood, a goose swam toward the nest.
I didn't think to much of it but then my jaw dropped.
The goose got up on the nest!
And the loons did not have a clue he was there because they were preoccupied with the other loon. If they had known the goose was on the nest, they would have made short work of it and unceremoniously chased him off.
I knew what a mess geese can make on the nest in just a matter of minutes.
So I decide it is up to me to chase him off the nest. He didn't want to leave until I was almost out to the nest. But finally he did leave protesting loudly.
The loons now saw what was going on so both of them came swimming in.
The eagle swooped down twice.
The male got on the nest but did not stay long. He wailed and he left the nest again. But he stayed close by and did not leave the area. His attention was obviously very focused.
I went down to look and the eagle had now switched trees from one neighbor a little ways away to another neighbor on the other side of the nest, but in a tree much closer to the nest.
And the loons did not like it at all!
I usually try not to interfere at all. But the loons had been off the nest way too long this morning with the multiple threats. So I walked along the shore to scare the eagle away.
But he wasn't ready to be scared. He just sat up in the big tree watching me. Until I was almost under the tree.
Then he finally swooped out of the tree, slightly toward me but not close enough to be of any danger to me.
But then as if to put a fine point on that statement by the eagle, as he flew away he swooped one more time at our loons who called out in concern.
But then the eagle flew away, I went up to the house and the female loon got on the nest.
All was well with the world once again.
Right now it is the male on the nest. He is MUCH more accepting of me and comfortable with me than the female is. She is getting used to me more and more but she is still a little bit hesitant.
But as I went down to the lake, the male loon did not react at all. He never flinched. He never lowered his head even a tiny bit. He just sat there with his head held high.
Since he was so comfortable with me, I decided to see if he would let me actually do some work in the lake along the shore. There have been a lot of weeds that have washed up in the wind.
He was VERY accepting of me working there.
So I have just spent the last hour and a half raking weeds and working along the shore and never once did he seem concerned or even lower his head.
It is gratifying to see him accept me and trust me like that.
Now I will continue to work on getting the female to accept me. But until then, anytime she lowers her head in reaction to me moving, I just leave the area completely so that she can't see me.
The loons have had enough drama for one day. And I have had MORE than enough.
So it is good to see them relaxed and content.
There are predictions for heavy rain and storms later tonight.
Hopefully that will be a non-event for out loons as well so that they can have some quiet time.
Copyright 2017 Larry R Backlund