The second egg was laid yesterday
(May 23) between 2:30 and 2:35 pm. That's about sixty hours after the first egg. Loons typically lay a two egg clutch with a day or so between eggs. It is believed that the separation in time increases the chances of...
So What About Those Black Flies?
Mon, May 22, 2017
Most people reading this will probably agree that loons are special. However, when it comes to black flies, you may not realize just how special loons are. The Common Loon is decidedly uncommon because it purportedly shares the distinction of having the most host-specific blood-sucking parasite known to science.
Simulium annulus is...
Good News/Bad News
Sun, May 21, 2017
The first egg was laid at 3:07:55 AM this morning. At dawn, the loons could be seen tending and incubating the egg. Loons usually lay a second egg about one day later, so we can't say for sure that this is a one egg clutch.
Turtles and Other Nest Visitors
Fri, May 19, 2017
Some viewers have have been concerned that turtles have been using the empty nest as a basking platform. Almost all of these turtles are painted turtles; They rarely get more than ten inches in length, they are plant eaters, and they are no threat to the loons or the nest. In fact, they often simultaneously share a...
More Nest Building
Thu, May 18, 2017
After a few soggy days of the loons paying little attention to the nest area, they are now back on a regular basis. In this videohttps://youtu.be/csId0j2_rLU, we see one of the pair back on the primary nest, giving it a test fit and adding more material.
Notice the black flies...
More Rain, More Challenges
Mon, May 15, 2017
1.8 inches of rain over the past 36 hours and the water level is creeping back up. The nest is on the verge of flooding and it's still raining. This nest is on a small pond with a small watershed, so there is a good chance that the water level will begin to drop soon...
Sun, May 14, 2017
The loon pair is definitely getting serious now that the nest is exposed above the water and ready for use. This video and this video show copulation and were both recorded in the past 24 hours. The loons are spending a lot of time around the nest. Eggs could be laid any time in the next few days.
Sat, May 13, 2017
This video clip is a great example of the complexity of loon vocalizations. We normally think of loons as having four basic calls and you can listen to them here. But anyone who has had the good fortune to study loons in the field over an extended period of time is...
The Perfect Loon Nest Site
Thu, May 11, 2017
The water level has dropped, the primary nest is exposed and ready, and we should be seeing some serious nesting activity soon. Some viewers have been asking why the loons prefer this particular spot, so this is a good time to discuss loon nest site selection.
Although loons are excellent divers and competent...
The Loons Start Building a Second Nest
Tue, May 09, 2017
Close to two inches of rain over the past week has slowed down the loons' progress. In this video, which shows three clips, the loons are first seen peering at the primary nest, which is completely submerged. One of them makes a few futile attempts at adding material to build up the nest. They then...
Anxious Loons and Water Level Fluctuation
Mon, May 08, 2017
The loons are anxious to get started. By May 2nd the water level had dropped enough to expose the nest and the next day the loons were recorded copulating on the nest. It only takes two or three days after successful copulation before eggs are laid but it usually requires numerous tries, up...
The Loons are Getting Ready
Sun, Apr 30, 2017
So much to talk about in one clip!
First, we see the male pulling up pieces of vegetation from the water and tossing them around. This is classic nest site selection behavior. In this case, we know that the camera is focused on the traditional nest site for this pair, so...
The Nesting Pair
The loons started incubating their eggs around June 11, so the expected hatch date is approximately July 8. The peak of nest initiation in New Hampshire usually occurs around the first week of June (see About Loon's Family and Social Life for more information); however, nesting was delayed in some areas this year due to high water. The incubation duties are shared between both loons, and you may see a nest switch if you happen to be watching at the right time. Dusk and dawn are good times to check, but it can happen anytime. Nesting loons face many challenges, from raccoons to flooded nests, with successful hatches at fewer than 60% of all nest attempts.
The female is marked with color bands on her legs. She has been breeding here on this territory since she was originally banded in 2009. Since the earliest known breeding age for loons is 4 years and the average age at first breeding in New Hampshire is 6 years, she is at least 12 years old, but most likely 14 years or older! She has yellow and white bands on her left leg and silver and green bands on her right leg. The bands may be visible as the female climbs on and off the nest or turns the eggs. The male is unbanded so all we can say for sure is that he is over four years old. A former male was banded, but he was found dead on a beach in Wareham, Massachusetts in January of 2015. So this current male might be spending his third year on this territory.
The Camera Project
The live video image on this page comes from a high-definition Axis P5635-E MK II pan-tilt-zoom camera with night-time infrared illumination. Conventional power and Internet service are supplied from a nearby residence. A single video stream is fed to YouTube, which can support hundreds of simultaneous viewers. A seven day archive lets us replay choice moments and publish them on the LPC YouTube Channel. The webcam is funded through donations to the Loon Preservation Committee's Loon Recovery Plan. Please click here to contribute to these efforts.
Funding for the loon cam project is made possible by LPC's Loon Recovery Plan. Technical expertise and support is provided by Bill Gassman (www.linkedin.com/in/billgassman). Streaming and archiving services in 2017 are provided by YouTube, CamStreamer and AngelCam. The camera installation would not have been possible without the generous permission of an anonymous property owner.
Loon Cam FAQ
When will the eggs hatch?
Nesting began around June 11, so if the hatch is successful, it should occur around July 8. A few days early or late is normal.
How does the loon cam work?
The camera is mounted to a tree about 15 feet from the nest. An Ethernet cable supplies power and an internet connection to the camera, and then travels over WiFi to a residence, where the router and cable internet connection are located. A single video stream runs 24x7, over a 10 megabit per second internet service to YouTube Live. With this design, hundreds can view the video feed at the same time, and the stream resolution is converted to match the viewer's internet connection speed. We also employ a 7 day archive service and can make a video clip of interesting events.
Can I see the archived videos
The YouTube player is configured so that you can replay up to several hours of the video stream. This is useful if you want to watch a nest switch or egg turning. Edited video clips from the archive are occasionally published on the Loon Preservation Committee YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/loonorgnh. Let us know if you see something interesting that we've missed. The archive goes back seven days.
Is there a Twitter hash tag to alert people to special events
Yes. We are experimenting with Twitter again this year and encourage loon cam viewers to Tweet special events that they see on the video feed to the #LoonCam hashtag. Our Twitter name is @lpc_nh.
Where is the loon cam located?
For privacy of the loons and the gracious people that allow placement of the looncam, the location is unidentified. It is in the New Hampshire Lakes Region.
Can I donate to the operation of the loon cam?
Yes! Please use the donation button on the loon cam page and select the "Loon Cam" button. We upgraded the camera this year at a cost of over $2000 and will spend another $600 to operate the LoonCam in 2017. Thank you for your support!
How do I control the view?
With the change over to the YouTube service, we no longer offer viewer control of the camera. At times, the LPC staff may take control of the camera and follow interesting events.
Can I make the picture bigger
Yes, use the YouTube full-screen icon, which shows when you touch or mouse over the bottom of the picture. You can also open up the stream on YouTube. On the YouTube page, there is a chat feature, where you can have a discussion with other Loon Cam Viewers. The chat will only be active when a moderator is available and when LPC Staff members are online for questions and answers. Since the chat is live, and open to the world, we need to warn you that inappropriate posts may briefly appear, until the moderators have a chance to delete them.
Can you turn the sound up? I can't hear it.
The loon nest is in a heavily populated area. With summer here, lots of people are outside talking, driving motorboats and making other noises. For this reason, the sound will be muted most of the time.
Why is the picture jerky
With the switch over to YouTube, the picture should have less jitter than the service we previously used. If you are on a slow internet connection, the reduced resolution will make the picture less sharp. When the wind is blowing and it is raining, there still may be some jitter in the picture, because our bandwidth from the camera to YouTube is still limited.
Who do I contact if I have a problem or question?
For technical questions or problems, send email to email@example.com
For other questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org