Scott Rykken took this incredible photo, capturing a loon on her nest, joined by a turtle and a small muskrat. They appear to be quite comfortable, bathing in the sun, while the loon protects her egg(s). Scott and his family have a cabin on Lake Miltona, where they put out this floating nest for the loons. Loon nests are very vulnerable, these floating nests are designed to withstand the constant changes in water levels, waves, and are more durable than the ever changing shoreline that loons typically use. Traditional nesting sites often get flooded, or stranded in areas that parents can’t get too.
Scott says, “We have put the nesting platform out for the last three springs. There have always been turtles who climb up and share the space in the sun but this was the first time we observed a turtle climb on top of the loon. The muskrats are a new addition this year. We were not sure how that would go but they didn’t seem to bother each other. The loon certainly kept an eye on the muskrat when it was on the corner of the platform but we learned they mostly eat vegetation and the eggs were not in any danger.”
Awww, now that is Minnesota Nice!!