Loons, not the M Bachmann type
I thought I'd introduce people to one of the most popular websites in Minnesota this time of year. http://www.mnbound.com/live-loon-cam It's the live cam from a loon nest on a lake in western central Minnesota. It's the third year there's been a live cam and there's been loons nesting there every year. This year is no different. The female laid her first egg early Thursday morning, and there will probably be another either today or tomorrow. I was a bit surprised when I caught them actually mating two days ago but I've read in the chat room notes that they've been doing that frequently the past week or so while they've been working on the nest. Those days are over so now they'll spend their time sharing the nest-sitting duties for 3-4 weeks until the chicks hatch.
Two years ago they only had one egg that hatched; the other was probably killed by having cold water wash over the nest. Last year, as in the photo I hope I've managed to post here, there were two successful chicks with one on the nest and the other in the water next to dad. It's had to tell them apart but usually a male loon has a larger head than a female. They're not absolutely certain, but they think we've probably had the same pair nesting here each year. If they could band them then they could track and know for sure but currently we don't have a banding "expert" in MN right now. If you have a look at their beaks, you can see why non-experts would not want to go near those razor-sharp beaks.
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