The loons have landed. And a herd of humans are preparing. Each spring, Jean Tam and other dedicated naturalists set the stagefor Anchorage's very own "Truman Show" style reality TV. Exceptinstead of watching a kid grow from boyhood to adult, thousands ofpeople from across Alaska and the world tune in to her Alaska LoonCam -- and over the course of an Alaska summer they'll observe inreal time the mating ritual, breeding and rearing of a new clutchof baby birds. |
If all goes well, the babies will grow up on Connors Lake, learninghow to feed, fly, takeoff and land. The family will leave sometimetoward the end of one long Alaska summer. MORE: Alaska Loon Cam updates on Twitter Last weekend, Tam and other members of the Anchorage Audubon Society were out at Connors Lake yet again, putting finishing touches on amanmade island that's decked out with a surveillance camera, aprotective tent-like structure and a nest for the loons. For nineyears, a female Pacific loon has returned to this floating refugeTam provides on Connors Lake. She arrived Monday afternoon, Tamsaid.
The male loons arrived shortly before she did, though, andchallenge each other for primacy on the lake. The male who wins gets "alpha male" status, according to BethPeluso of the Alaska Audubon. And the champion will mate with thefemale, who's identifiable by a metal band placed on her in 2003 bya group of wildlife biologists. Most years, a clutch of eggs is on the nest in early summer. Loonpredators like bald eagles cannot see the eggs because of thecovered structure.
This offers the loons a leg-up on othermigratory birds returning to the Last Frontier each year toprocreate and continue the circle of life. Alaska Dispatch will once again join Anchorage Audubon Society andthe Cornell University Lab of Ornithology NestCams project to bring 24/7 coverage of the loons to conservationists andbird-lovers around the world. We'll watch the loons with you, blogabout the goings-on at Connors Lake and offer updates from the neston Twitter. Expect the loon cam to go live in the days to come.
About Alaska's Pacific loons The incubation period for Pacific loons is about a month There are five species of loons in Alaska Pacific loons are birds of the North, populous in northern NorthAmerica and mating on land in the summer climates of Alaska andCanada. Read much more about Pacific loons at the Cornell Ornithology website , which offers information on the natural aspects of a bird's lifecycle.
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