Are We Having a Bad Year?

Let’s review the Loon Cam nesting results so far.

On Cam #1, the loons lost one egg due to some frantic nest building in response to major rainfall and water level rise. Then we celebrated the hatching of one chick, only to watch an eagle carry it away before it had a chance to leave the nest. 0 for 2.

So far on Cam #2, we’ve witnessed one egg get accidentally crushed and then disposed by the loons. The crushing appears to have happened during a violent thunderstorm. So we’re pinning all our hopes on the one remaining egg in the Cam #2 nest. So, a pretty pitiful year, huh? Well, maybe we shouldn’t jump to conclusions… yet. Lets compare the productivity of these two nests this year to the average statewide loon productivity and see what we get.

Nest initiation: Statewide, about 70% of territorial pairs actually nest; on the Loon Cam we have 100% (2 for 2).

Nesting success: Statewide, it averages around one chick hatched per nesting pair. On the Loon Cam it’s going to be either 0.5 or one chick hatched per pair.

Chicks surviving per territorial pair: Statewide average is about 0.5. The Loon Cam average will be 0.5 if the remaining egg hatches and the chick survives to the end of the season.

So, pinning our hopes on the remaining egg, this would be about as close to a “typical” season as two random pairs could get. We’ve just been spoiled over the past few years by watching two excellent nesting pairs.

Here’s hoping for a “typical year”.