Tag Archives: alsea river

Nutria Family

Last week I was nervous about seeing these two nutria being so friendly on the river bank.  Mind you, nutria have never done anything personally against me.  But I know they can cause erosion problems and we don’t need any of that on the Alsea River!

nutria couple
Mama and Daddy Nutria

So, when I saw THIS today I was REALLY disappointed.

mom nutria with 5 little ones
Mom with 5 baby nutria

Mom took her 5 kids out to play in the river.


But I did learn something about nutria from this website:  http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/nutria.html

Nutria were brought here from southern South America to control unwanted aquatic vegetation.  Their average lifespan is 3 years in the wild.  A female can get pregnant as early as 3 months and can have almost 3 litters per year.  Predators of adult nutria include coyotes, domestic dogs, and humans. Great horned owls, foxes, great blue herons, hawks, eagles, and raccoons prey on the young.

Spring on the Alsea River

A male Rufous hummingbird finally found our feeder today.  He guards it ruthlessly.

male rufous hummingbird
He’s the boss

Rufous hummers are very territorial.  He is chasing off 5 or 6 other hummers.

Everybody likes the salmonberries – especially the Robins

robin in the salmonberries
Robin in the Salmonberries

The crawdad is almost the bottom of the food chain around here.  They are the scavengers who feed on dead fish flesh.  The diving ducks eat the crawdads – unless we eat them first.


The mallards are enjoying all the fresh green moss growing on the river bottom and banks of the Alsea.

mallard hen and drake
Mallard Couple

The new growth of spring is such a vibrant green!

Alsea River at Tidewater, Oregon
Alsea River at Tidewater

Even wildlife need to bathe

Otters seem to have a fluid motion even when they are on land.  These photos were taken in Tidewater just below Blackberry Campground east of Waldport, Oregon.  (Sorry if I caught an intimate moment.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell.)

river otters on alsea river
3 otters

 Watch the video of them taking a dirt bath.  When the 3rd otter comes onto land you can see a little newt scurrying out of the way.

[youtube https://youtu.be/O-MOzwbzK_M]

Mallard family on the Alsea

I had to finish the month with some wildlife baby pictures I got this week.

This mallard mom is watching over naptime of her 11 little ones.

mallard ducks on alsea river
Ducklings huddled together for a nap

Then they get up and get to work to feed themselves.  You can see that one of the little ones is starting to look like mom on her upper wings.

Apparently WordPress isn’t going to let me post 2 YouTube videos so I’ll show the otters in the next blog.

Mom Merganser Fishing with 16 Ducklings

Kudos to this mama merganser!  I counted at least 16 babies with her.  I can’t imagine keeping up with this many kids at once.  I’ve seen the Common Merganser mom defending her chicks though.  She is not to be reckond with!

[youtube https://youtu.be/7ADPSd6tFMM]

They all gather when she gives a soft quack.

16 common merganser ducklings
I count 16 Common Merganser babies

And she does it all with style; not a hair out of place.  🙂

merganser mom with ducklings
Common Merganser mom with ducklings

The ducklings were having trouble fighting the current in the fast water so Mama took them across the rocks – in single file.

merganser ducklings
Marching across the rocks to get past the whitewater

Great Blue Heron on the Alsea River

The Great Blue Heron have been really skiddish; flying away at my slightest move or sound when I try to sneak up on one.  I watched and photo’d this one for a almost an hour from our deck.

great blue heron
Great Blue Heron are so graceful

 Then I figured if he left, I’d already gotten my photos so I quit trying to be so quiet.   He didn’t care when we were talking and even walking around the yard.  I mean, he still kept his distance; maybe 50 yards away.  But that is rare in my experience here.  Maybe we’ve made a friend!

great blue heron
He looks fluffy after a little preening

I was able to even catch him on video as he caught a fish.  Watch it on YouTube here:

[youtube https://youtu.be/haavQ8fs9JU]