Loon Cam 2017 got off to a slow start. First there were technical obstacles to overcome, then our Loon Master and Monitor had to take a business trip at the start of the loon season. Only to return to a muskrat problem. The nests were being used as dining room tables by the muskrats. After cleaning up and evicting the muskrats we waited eagerly for the loons to stake a claim to the platforms and lay eggs. Then WHAM another surprise, the tried and true pair of nesting of loons in this bay had been replaced by young un-banded newlyweds. Now this is the natural order of things but it left our loon cam peaking into the honeymoon suite of 2 loons going on pure instinct.
A loon pair will normally mate several times and produce 1 or 2 eggs within a few days. Our newlyweds took a bit longer to settle down to business and lay 1 egg. . . 3 WEEKS longer. Those frisky buggers! The theory from USGS is that it takes a while for the female hormone cycle to adjust and become fertile.
The Loon Researchers at USGS have been following our web cam to monitor the habits of first time breeders. Once again, Clearwater lake is helping to teach the professionals. Way to go Jeff!
Anyway the egg was laid on 5/10. The normal incubation time is 26-28 days. That puts a chick in the nest on around 6/4 - 6/7. Word of warning, the chick leaves the nest pretty quickly and does not return. So keep an eye out.
Isn't this is more exciting then a silly giraffe? Although, I must admit, a loon is about as awkward!
Screen shots from the web cam
2017 Loon Babies!