Tag Archives: alsea river

Otters Boiling the Alsea River

The river otters are fun to watch. There is such a flurry of activity in the water even before you know what’s making all the ripples.  I like them to come up on land so I can keep track of them while I count noses.

7-otter family
7-Otter Family

They almost never sit still for a photo.

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Eagle Alert!

“Eagle!” my content advisor (as he likes to go by) calls out.  I look out the window in time to see the adult eagle swoop down to the river.  Fumbling with my camera, I watch it land briefly on the rocks, pick something out of the river and continue flying upriver.

Adult Eagle on Alsea River
Adult Eagle on Alsea River

Keeping my eye on him I get my lens cap off, turn on the camera and get out the door onto our deck overlooking the Alsea River near the Oregon Coast.  He landed!  The “eagle has landed”; to borrow a phrase from my childhood.

I hear another eagle chirp every minute or so; like a juvenile keeping in close contact with a parent who has food.  And, sure enough…here comes the kid with a hollow leg.

Juvenile Eagle Joins Parent
Juvenile Eagle Joins Parent

Then another adult flew in to greet the two!

2nd Adult Eagle Flies In
2nd Adult Eagle Flies In

It happened too quick to get a photo of all 3 eagles together.  The camera doesn’t always win when I have to make a split-second choice between watching wildlife and photographing it.  The two adults flew off together and the young one stayed on the rock.  I couldn’t tell if the parent finished eating or left something for Junior.

Juvenile Bald Eagle
Juvenile Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles get their adult plumage in about 5 years. This one looks like it is beginning to get its white head feathers.

4-5 year-old Bald Eagle
4-5 year-old Bald Eagle

Elk Fog Horn

The fog was so thick this morning that I could hardly see across the Alsea River near the Oregon Coast.  Then I heard an elk call from a calf.  They sound like a weaker version of the adult cow.  So I looked and saw one or two elk making their way across the field making calls to each other like a sonar tracking system.  Then the rest of the herd appeared as the fog lightened a little.

Elk in Fog Video

elk on foggy morning
Elk on foggy morning

Diving Duck?

At first I thought this was a mallard hen.  But I’ve never seen a mallard dive underwater and swim.  This one dove several times in the tidewater of the Alsea River.  Watch the video and tell me if you think this is a mallard.  A still photo of her is below the link to the video.

Mallard Hen Diving – Video

mallard hen?
Mallard Hen?

And I love the colors on the Wood ducks!

Wood Duck Couple
Wood Duck Couple

Merganser Chicks in Formation

The Merganser chicks’ wings are developing.  They aren’t big enough to fly yet but they can dive and they look like they are flying under water.

Short wings of juvenile Common Mergansers
Short wings of juvenile Common Mergansers

Mama Merganser is on the left in the next photo.  Compare her wings, which include a white patch, to her chicks.  They’ve had their nap and are now ready to get back to business.

common merganser female with chicks
Mom getting her chicks prepared for take-off

Before this family landed on the rocks of the Alsea River, Mama Merganser was chasing something in the river.  I couldn’t see what it was but 2 Mallards also came from across the river quacking at the same thing.  Whatever it was never came back.  The Mallards didn’t even have chicks with them.  I thought it was cool that they joined forces with Mama Merganser.

Common Merganser with 11 chicks
Common Merganser with 11 chicks!

With as many predators who love the tender merganser veal I’m always impressed by the number of chicks a mom is able to raise.  This mom has eleven chicks and it is probably due to their strict obedience to her.

Mink vs Mallards on the Alsea River

This Mallard mama did not turn her back on the mink that was running alongside her family on the Alsea River this morning.

Mallard mom with 5 ducklings
Mallard mom with 5 ducklings

The mink ran ahead; darting in and out of the riverside debris.

Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling
Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling

Mama-duck quacked and followed the mink to keep it moving and to let it know she was vigilantly protecting her ducklings.

mallard mom lays down the law
I said, Listen to me!

She see’s her children are paying attention when she didn’t think they were.

mallard duckling imitates mom
If Mom can do this, I can do this.

I wonder what else mink eat?  This one might not get duck for lunch.

Mink on the Alsea River
Mink on the Alsea River