As of Friday, June 29, the Round Lake loons have been on the nest for 26 days. Since loons take exactly that length of time to incubate, this was the first possible day for hatching. However, the day they occupied the nest wasn’t necessarily the day the egg was laid. Apparently, it wasn’t, because as of Saturday, when the video below was shot, there was still no chick, unless it was snuggled up to its parent somewhere in there.
So, we’re on Chick Watch. Normally, having a chick hatch just prior to the Fourth of July holiday, when the lake is busiest with boat traffic, isn’t the best scenario. However, since these loons tend to stay in the south end of the lake for the first week or so when they have only one chick, and that end being cordoned off with buoys, they’re on pretty safe ground…or rather water.
Update: The egg hatched sometime on Sunday, July 1, and the newly-hatched chick was seen riding on a loon parent’s back on Monday!
Update 7-5-12: It seems we were wrong on the chick count (notice how I say “we” when I get something wrong). Yesterday, a couple from Grand Rapids came into my store and reported seeing TWO–not one, but two– chicks with the loon parents. Before I could confirm this, Linda from Round Lake wrote me today with this comment:
I watched the Loon family out for a swim yesterday, in their nesting area, and through binoculars, would have sworn that mom and dad were being trailed by two chicks.
Well, I need be in no hurry to confirm the results myself. And, this is indeed great news. Not that I was wrong, but that I was wrong in such a great way. Two chicks in a second nesting in a single season is a bounty! Which means we get to recover Mom’s Geotag, band Dad, and band two more Round Lake chicks…