It’s Day 30 today and the loons are still sitting on the nest. We are watching the nest with growing concern that the single egg may not be viable. The average incubation period for loons is 28 days, but perhaps the chick needs a few extra days after the recent cold snap. Once the chick hatches it will likely spend hours afterward drying out on the nest and resting. You may see the adult loons remove the cream-colored egg membrane from the nest and drop it in the water, to keep the nest itself less visible. The chick is a tiny, black down puffball, weighing in at just over 100 grams (4 ounces) when it hatches, and gaining 40 grams (over an ounce) a day. It can triple its weight in the first week on a steady diet of minnows, leeches, and other aquatic invertebrates. This will be the most vulnerable time in the loon chick’s life. As they leave the nest for good a day or so after the egg hatches, the parental focus of the adult loons will shift to the brooding area, in a quiet cove on the main part of the pond, but will require just as much energy and attention as the last four weeks.