It’s been an “interesting” three days since we first saw the pip on what we assume was egg #1. The chick hatched in the dark, early hours of Thursday morning but we didn’t get a look at it until daylight. The loons continued incubating the second egg and we hoped to see another hatch soon. The following night, loon cam watchers reported hearing peeps and tapping coming from the egg (it’s so great to have a microphone on the raft!) and our expectations were high.
Meanwhile, the hatched chick was getting rambunctious and the parents had their hands (wings?) full, trying to incubate an egg while taking care of a precocious chick. By the time daylight arrived on Friday, both parents were spending more time with the chick than incubating the egg. Viewers reported and discussed interesting features on the surface of the egg but we never saw a classic pip (the beginnings of a chick emerging from the shell. By nightfall, it was apparent that the loons were more concerned with the chick and ignoring the egg.
Today it’s safe to say that the second egg will not hatch and possibly never would have hatched. The loons haven’t been back to the nest and they are busy feeding and guarding the chick. Soon they will start moving toward the brooding area, which is in another cove. The loon cam was shut down shortly after noon.
Losing an egg is a disappointment but the loons have to protect their investment, which is now a healthy chick in the water. When we look at the big picture, our two Loon Cam pairs have hatched three healthy chicks this year. If they all survive to the end of the season, then that is a roaring success; three times the statewide average. Here’s wishing a long life to the chicks and their parents, who we hope to see back here next year, contributing again to a sustainable loon population.