Sunday, May 21, 2017 9:41 am CDT

46 degrees F   Cloudy   Wind  Calm

Sunrise  5:37 am CDT   Sunset 8:43 pm CDT


We have had more rain overnight.

But right now it is a wonderfully calm and peaceful scene on the lake.

The lake is like a sheet of glass.  The loon is on the nest and relaxed.  Swallows are flitting around catching bugs.

And there are no eagles flying overhead or especially targeting our loons.

It would be nice if it would stay this way all day and give our loons a rest.  But they are always alert for any changes or any danger to them or their eggs.

It is good to have some relief from what has seemed like non-stop wind and non-stop rain over the last number of days.  We probably are still not done with the rain because the weather pattern all across the country  is very unsettled.  But today there should not be the constant rain that we have seen.

The level of the lake has risen some from all the rain.  We have had over 4 inches of rain over the last few days.

But there should be no danger of the nesting raft going under water.  A couple years ago I lengthened the anchor ropes when due to heavy rains the lake rose 17 inches in 24 hours!  And there was danger then that the nesting platform was being pulled underwater by the anchor ropes.

But the ropes should be long enough to handle this amount of rain with no trouble.

The major impact of all the rain and wind and waves is that the waves have eaten away some of the nesting material.  But so far things seem to be holding up quite well under the circumstances.

Last night we passed the two week mark on when the first egg was laid.  We are already halfway to the much anticipated and hoped for hatching of the first egg.  But the second halfway is a still a long road.

There has been some question about how old this male loon is and that he is very young and inexperienced.

That is not the case at all.

We banded this loon in 2012 after he had produced chicks that year.  That was 5 years ago.  Since loons usually do not start breeding until they are about 5 or 6 years old, that would probably make this male at least 10 years old.  And I have some reason to believe that he is older than that.

Loons have surprisingly long life spans.  It is commonly accepted fact that loons live to be 25 to 30 years old.  But there is so much that we do not know about them.  And we are learning every day.  So if anything, that expected age span will probably only go up slightly as we learn more about loons.

But suffice it to say that this male has a fair amount of experience and has successfully raised chicks before.

I cannot give you the same information on the female, since I do not know for sure who she is or what her age or history are.  If they have chicks this year, we may be able to catch her and band her later this summer.  And then we can learn more about her as well.

But continue to watch the fascinating story and saga of what happens with our loons and their eggs this year.

And let's all learn together.


Copyright 2017   Larry R Backlund