Entries by admin

More Rain, More Challenges

1.8 inches of rain over the past 36 hours and the water level is creeping back up. The nest is on the verge of flooding and it’s still raining. This nest is on a small pond with a small watershed, so there is a good chance that the water level will begin to drop soon […]

More Mating

The loon pair is definitely getting serious now that the nest is exposed above the water and ready for use. This video and this video show copulation and were both recorded in the past 24 hours. The loons are spending a lot of time around the nest. Eggs could be laid any time in the next few days.

Loon Vocalizations

This video clip is a great example of the complexity of loon vocalizations. We normally think of loons as having four basic calls and you can listen to them here. But anyone who has had the good fortune to study loons in the field over an extended period of time is aware that loons have a much […]

The Perfect Loon Nest Site

The water level has dropped, the primary nest is exposed and ready, and we should be seeing some serious nesting activity soon. Some viewers have been asking why the loons prefer this particular spot, so this is a good time to discuss loon nest site selection. Although loons are excellent divers and competent fliers, walking […]

The Loons Start Building a Second Nest

Close to two inches of rain over the past week has slowed down the loons’ progress. In this video, which shows three clips, the loons are first seen peering at the primary nest, which is completely submerged. One of them makes a few futile attempts at adding material to build up the nest. They then move […]

Anxious Loons and Water Level Fluctuation

The loons are anxious to get started. By May 2nd the water level had dropped enough to expose the nest and the next day the loons were recorded copulating on the nest. It only takes two or three days after successful copulation before eggs are laid but it usually requires numerous tries, up to a week or so, […]

The Loons are Getting Ready

So much to talk about in one clip! First, we see the male pulling up pieces of vegetation from the water and tossing them around. This is classic nest site selection behavior. In this case, we know that the camera is focused on the traditional nest site for this pair, so we could interpret this as […]

Watching the Grass Grow

It has gotten hard to tell if a loon is still on the nest, behind all the vegetation that has grown up in the last two months.  We did notice a loon climbing on to the nest at about 3:45 pm today (it was visible underwater as it approached!), but they appear to be off […]

Still Sticking…..

After 36 days, approaching 10 days past the expected hatch, the incubating loon pair continues to sit through temperatures in the mid-80s. This is hard work. Less than 3% of all nest attempts we’ve recorded over the past four decades have gone past the 5th week, like this one.  As we watch, and watch….and watch this […]

Sticking to a Nest

We’re now at 31 full days of incubation, and the chances that the single egg will hatch are low. Loons sometimes stick with a nest, or overincubate, long after the egg should have hatched. Most inviable eggs are abandoned in the first week after expected hatch, but some loon pairs overincubate for a month more.  […]