Loon’s eggs hatch, two little chicks learn to swim within hours

Lake Vermilion, Minnesota — Two loon chicks hatched from their eggs in the Thursday morning sunshine June 23 and within hours, the older one was already learning how to swim in Lake Vermilion.

The Loon Mom swims into the small bay with her older chick two hours after being hatched.

After ferociously guarding her two eggs for nearly a month, a loon watched patiently as her little ones began exploring the brush near their nest.

Dad Loon reaches up to feed the older chick a “lake lunch” from his beak.

She nudged them along, encouraging each one to follow her lead and jump in the water.

The older larger chick was rambunctious and at one point, slipped and tumbled into the small bay below.

Dad Loon let it struggle to find a way back to the nest, taking on a role of feeding the chicks with a “lake lunch” of some kind scooped up from the small bay.

The drama of the new creatures figuring out how to walk, then swim, then eat, was captured by a LiveCam from the Vermilion Lake Association. It is anchored to the lake floor and pointed at the loon nest, providing a limited view of the nearby area.

Loyal VLA Looncam watchers noticed late Thursday morning that a chick was there along with its mother, and began tracking every move seen on the livestream on the VLA YouTube Channel page.

A special video has been produced showing the highlights of the chicks’ first few hours on Lake Vermilion.

Now that the chicks have hatched, the loon family will spend most of its time out on the lake, no longer confined to the nesting area. Wildlife experts say they feel safer out in the open water. Loons can dive and stay underwater for long periods of time, hiding from danger or hunting for food. They have difficulty walking on land.

In the past two weeks, a bald eagle terrorized the loons trying to guard the two eggs, but in the end, did not harm them. On another occasion, the loons sensed and chased off an intruder attempting to approach by the land peninsula. Swinging into action, the loon on the nest screamed and dance on the water, flapping wings in an aggressive manner.

See video of the eagle attack captured on our Live LoonCam.

Look for our Lake Vermilion loon family to swim by any time of the day on our VLA Live LoonCam. Or listen to them call out to each other after sunset. We appreciate the Internet power provided to our VLA project by Access Broadband of Virginia, Minnesota.


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