Over the first week after arrival, Millie and Roy walked back and forth on the snowy pond and the surrounding marsh, scrutinizing their traditional nest territory while they foraged, danced, and evaluated potential nest sites.
They often flew across the valley and landed, on neighborhood reconnaissance trips that lasted from a few minutes to overnight. At these sites, they may have been foraging or merely inspecting nearby ponds and marshes.
By day 3, Roy was pulling on cattail stalks as if he were beginning to build a nest.
Millie showed only passing interest in nest-building during the first few days. She glanced at Roy's efforts, ruffled, and walked on as she foraged.
They began incubation on May 18th across the marsh on the far side of an island next to a narrow channel of snow-covered ice.