Friday, May 19, 2017 11:56 pm CDT

46 degrees F   Cloudy   Wind 9 mph NE

Sunrise  5:38 am CDT    Sunset  8:42 pm CDT


The unusually cold, rainy, windy weather continues.

This feels more like early April than late May.  It was only 39 degrees here this morning!

But the loons are fine with the cold rainy weather.  EXCEPT when they are pulled off the nest by threats.  Threats of bald eagles, intruder loons or even geese.

Geese are usually no big deal to our loons.  But eagles and other loons intruding on their territory are great threats that they will go all out to fight

And today they they have faced both eagles and another loon.

There seems to be another loon that has appeared within the last week.  And every time he appears, both of our loons go out to confront him.

That is stressful enough for them.  But the danger is when it pulls them off the nest and exposes the eggs to the rain and cold weather.

And today the loons have been pulled off the nest at least three times (maybe more) by eagles.

The first one I did not actually see happen but my neighbor told me about it.  He said that two eagles were actually dive bombing the loon and drove him half way across the lake.

Then shortly afterwards there was a single eagle that kept soaring right over the nest and the loon left in a panic.  The loon returned to the nest but then left once again as the eagle came back.

I think we have had more problem with eagles this year than any other year that I can remember.  I am thankful that eagles are on the rebound.  But when they harass and attack loons, not so much.

I am also ready to be done with the rain and the wind!

The wind and waves have washed away a fair amount of the nesting material along the front of the nest.  I don't think the nest is in any danger yet.  I think the perspective of the picture makes it look worse than it is.  But I would much rather that all the material that I had placed there was still there.  

I will continue to watch it and if it seems like the nest is in danger, I may look for an opportunity, if the loons are off the nest and well away from the area, to bring more nesting material out there to replace what has been washed away.

But I think the chances of that are pretty slim.  Plus I do not want the loons to be off the nest nor far from the nest.

I took a look at dates that the eggs might hatch.  This is dangerous territory to make a guess and wander into!

I would say the eggs should hatch sometime between June 1st and June 8th.  My best guess would be June 3rd, 4th or 5th.

Loon eggs, and eggs in general I think, do any amazing thing called "catch up".  That is where the second egg hatches faster than the first egg - hence the name catch up.

Two eggs may be laid 3 days apart (or in the case of our eggs this year, 2.5 days apart) but yet they hatch LESS than 3 days apart.  The second egg 'catches up' with the first egg.

Let's see what happens with our eggs this year.


Copyright 2017    Larry R Backlund