At around 6 am this morning, Dad finished up his nest sitting. When he got off the nest, it was evident that one of the eggs was crushed. Mom climbed on the nest nine minutes later and noticed the broken egg. She picked up the largest piece, removed it from the raft and did not get back on the nest. Four+ hours later and the remaining egg still has not been incubated.
So, how did the egg get crushed? Possibly the sitting loon got startled during the intense thunderstorm we had last night. But some avid loon cam watchers say the egg looked “odd” yesterday. A close review of the archived video may help pin down the time and cause.
So what happens now? We aren’t sure of the condition of the remaining egg. It looks like it may also be damaged but it seems that the very few times our cam operator isn’t available – Bill puts an incredible amount of hours into this project – is when weird things happen. A zoom-in might answer the question. If the remaining egg is also broken, then we have a nest failure. The loons could possibly re-nest but they would have to act quickly. It would have to be by early-mid-July at the latest.
If the remaining egg is still intact, then it’s a question of whether or not the loons will resume incubation soon. This could go either way. It all depends on the cause of the broken egg and the individual loons. Often they will continue to incubate the surviving egg but sometimes they abandon the nest. Time will tell. And as I check the loon cam just now (10:48 am), Dad is climbing on the nest and getting himself comfy. Check that… Dad left the nest. We’ll just have to wait this out and see what happens in the long term.