Monday, May 13, 2019 9:15 am CDT

50 degrees Clear Wind Calm

Sunrise 5:44 am CDT Sunset 8:34 pm CDT

When you think you have Mother Nature figured out, you don’t.

When you think you can predict what the loons are going to do, you can’t.

Sometimes you can’t even believe your own eyes!

I think I am going to have to admit I was wrong and change what I said about the first egg being laid.

I had said that I was 80 to 90% certain that there was no egg laid at 2 pm pm Saturday afternoon. And It appears I was wrong and that it really was about the time it was laid.

I have had responses on both sides. People who said they agreed with me that there was NO egg at 2 pm. And others who have said that they saw it laid at 2 pm. And others who said it was laid at 2 pm but they could not say they actually saw the egg being laid.

I thought I was watching very closely at the time. But obviously I was not watching closely enough!

The female loon exhibited ALL the classic signs of egg laying. But yet I was stunned when she left the nest and there was “no egg there”. And I had not seen an egg actually being laid or on the nest when she left.

Apparently, as some have said, it was under one of the tufts of grass on the nest and hidden. And I totally missed it.

Others who saw the loon get up on the nest at 4 pm said they saw her ‘pull the egg out’ from under the tuft of grass and that it was already there at that time. I happened to look a few minutes after she had gotten up on the nest at 4 pm and she was already rolling the egg.

The only thing I can figure is that I was going back and forth between two monitors at 2pm - one which is the direct feed from the camera on the nest. And the other which is the internet connection that you are watching. There is about a 30 second delay or difference between the two pictures - the picture from the direct feed and the picture when it actually makes it all the way through all the internet connections and reaches you.

Anyway, that is my ‘excuse story’ and I am sticking to it!!

All of that to say I look forward to seeing a couple of the videos that people have promised to send me to see what actually happened.

So apparently the official time the first egg was laid about 2 pm on Saturday afternoon, May 11, 2019.

This morning we have already had a lot of action with the loons.

The loons have been off the egg WAY more than I am comfortable with. The male seems to be more consistent at staying on the egg than the female. He has been around here for a long time and has successfully nested a number of times before - both here on the LoonCam and off.

Now we are still early enough in the cycle that I do not think there is a high chance of damage to the egg by being off it. It is just that I, like I think many of you, ‘yell’ at the loons, “Get back on the nest and keep the egg warm!”

Last night it got down to 35 degrees. That is way too close for comfort.

Yesterday they were off the egg a lot. And going into the night, there was no one on the nest. But at 4 am this morning when I checked, one of them had gotten back on the egg sometime in the middle of the night.

But then they have been off again this morning with confrontations with another ‘intruder’ loon!

From what someone on another part of the lake told me yesterday, we apparently have another pair on the lake. Whether that pair is nesting somewhere, I am not sure.

Earlier, shortly after ice out, we had at least 5 loons on the lake. But some of those may have just been passing through waiting for ice out on lakes further north.

But this morning there was at least one loon that ‘our loons’ were confronting.

As most of you know, during the nesting season loons are VERY territorial. And a lot of the loon calls that people hear early in the spring and summer are actually territorial calls or even confrontations.

Maybe we will talk more about that in one of the upcoming blogs.

There have also been questions about the flies on the loon’s head. And about eagles. And about how long it takes a loon egg to hatch. And how long before they lay a second egg (the quick answer to that one is usually 2 to 3 days after the first egg). And how do you tell the male from the female. And how long do loons live.

So many things to talk about and so little time.

But we will try to address some of those things and more in the future here in this blog.

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy a spectacular Minnesota (SIMON SAYS) day on the lake. And encourage the loons to stay on the nest!

Copyright 2019 Larry R Backlund