The Pip Watch Begins

You may notice a lot of talk about the “pip” and “pipping” if you follow the chat on YouTube. A pip is the first crack or pinhole in the egg and is indicative of an imminent hatch. Last year the Loon Cam chick hatched 13 hours after the pip was first sighted. But because the loons moved the nest to a more obscure location, it may be more difficult to see a pip. But with a hundred or more sets of eyes on the nest, we’ll probably see the pip before we see the chick.
Unlike a chicken egg, which pips somewhere near the middle of the long axis, loon eggs pip at or near the end of the egg, typically the blunter end. By the time a loon chick hatches, there are dozens of small eggshell fragments in the nest
After the loons leave the nest, LPC collects all eggshell fragments and any inviable eggs. These can be used to test for and document any change over time in eggshell thickness and in concentrations of trace elements and contaminants.