For a couple weeks, the loon couple made infrequent visits back to the nest. When they visited, they'd both climb onto the nest, cooing softly at each other before slipping off the nest and disappearing up the lake again.
But one morning, I found a loon sitting on the nest and the loon didn't move.
Fast forward 27 days . . .
That's right, not one but two loon chicks hatched as part of the second nesting!The first chick appeared on my brother Peter's birthday, so I named that guy "Peat." When the second little one popped out a day later, it was christened "Repeat."
Because the chicks hatched later in the season, we were a little worried they wouldn't have the time to figure out the big wild world and learn to fly before it was time to head south in the autumn. A massive snapping turtle also lurked in the waters near the nest, not to mention all the large fish in the lake who might be searching for a little loon appetizer. Would both chicks make it?
The answer is a resounding: YES! Both chicks are alive and well and growing fast. They've nearly shed their brown coats (morphing into the immature silver coat that they'll have for an extended period of time) and are probably testing out their flying chops. They still have plenty of difficulties ahead, especially when they head south (most likely to the oily Gulf of Mexico) in the fall, where they'll stay for the next few years. We won't know if our loon twins will ever return, but there's some peace (and a bit of pride) in knowing we helped two loons get their start.
Mother Nature may not always be nice, but she also happens to have a redemptive streak.