Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:32 pm CDT

63 degrees F   Clear  Wind Calm

Sunrise  5:43 am CDT   Sunset  8:39 pm CDT

We continue to wait to see what the loons will do this year.

There are several loons on the lake this year.  But I have still not figured out who is who or who is doing what.  Although I have been away from home a lot for the last couple weeks so I have not had a lot of time to try to figure it all out.

So I thank you all for being eyes and ears for all of us.  Like many of you I also wish that we had chat that does not disappear so that we could share information more easily.  But thank you.

There continue to be numerous territorial calls including yodels.  So we know that there are at least two males on the lake.

From what I have seen and what others have confirmed it seems that the female that has mated on the nest is the same female as last year.  I saw her right leg green band when they mated the first morning after I had put the nesting platform out (before the cam wen t live).  But I did not see her left leg.  So I appreciate the confirmation of the left leg band being red which confirms she is last year's female.

However, that first morning I did not see bands on the male.  He moved and left the nest so fast I could not be sure that he did not have bands.  But I did not see any bands and so immediately I was concerned that this was a different male from last year.

Someone asked if we had removed his bands when we retrieved the data recorder from him last year.  The answer is no.  Those bands are permanent and are not removed.  Last year's male had green/green bands.  He is the male that I had the very special encounter with a couple years ago.

So if it was not our male from last year (which seems to have been confirmed by several of you) it made me sadly contemplate that something may have happened to him and that is why there is a new male with last year's female.

But what has also concerned me is that this pair has not been spending any time in the area of the nest.  It is encouraging that they have mated a number of times.  But by now they should be getting serious about nesting.

What is also concerning is that there may - I repeat MAY - be a pair that is defending territory very nearby.  Is it the same pair that has been visiting the nest.  Or another pair?

I have not been able to confirm which it is.

But if there is another pair with a natural nest nearby, then I will pull the nesting platform in.  Because to leave it out and possibly attract another pair this close would mean that there would be constant fights and territorial battles.  And even if both nested and laid eggs, we would very possibly lose BOTH nests because of the fights.

Difficult questions for which I at this point do not have any answers.

This morning my neighbors told me that they watched an eagle repeatedly target and dive bomb one of the loons.  Over and over.  For several minutes.  The mate finally showed up and also engaged in the panicked calls.

After a number of minutes the eagle gave up and flew away without having done any apparent damage to the loons.

There always seems to be drama with our loons, doesn't there?

So we continue to watch and wait.  I will try to keep you updated if I learn anything new.


Copyright 2018   Larry R Backlund