May 20, 2021
The Loon Cam 1 male spent an hour on the nest this morning, talking to himself in plaintive hoots and coos. The female was nowhere to be seen. Precopulatory nest sitting is a common occurrence and is commonly referred to as “trying out the nest.” But this behavior is often observed when both loons are present and soft coos are exchanged between the two. It seems apparent that, in this case, the male wants to get the nesting started but the female is not ready.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing but it’s fun to speculate why things are as they are. Something we know for sure is that the female of this pair is particularly small. Perhaps her metabolism rate is slower than average. We also know by way of isotope analysis that egg contents are derived from nutrients acquired on the nesting lake. She may still be accumulating and metabolizing enough nutrients to form viable eggs.
This pair typically initiates nesting around June 1st. I guess the male will just have to be patient.