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.
This Mallard mama did not turn her back on the mink that was running alongside her family on the Alsea River this morning.
The mink ran ahead; darting in and out of the riverside debris.
Mama-duck quacked and followed the mink to keep it moving and to let it know she was vigilantly protecting her ducklings.
She see’s her children are paying attention when she didn’t think they were.
I wonder what else mink eat? This one might not get duck for lunch.
I was wandering around the Alsea River at low tide today; just exploring and being fascinated by how time can shape a rock.
A Great Blue Heron flew in and landed upstream looking for lunch.
Then I stumbled onto a land-locked lamprey eel. Hhhmmm…must be what he’s looking for?
Upon Don’s suggestion, I tossed him over to another pool so he could escape into the river.
Sorry, Mr Heron, but I don’t mind if you eat this little guy:
There were 3 elk calves in this small Roosevelt Elk herd today. I read that a calf is fully weaned by the end of the summer…about 2 months old. And a calf will gain 250-300 pounds in the first year. As quickly as they gain weight, maybe these 2 calves are only a couple weeks apart? I’ve got more questions than answers!
The calves don’t stick right next to mom all day so do they find each other again by smell or voice or sight? I’ve seen the calf get close to a couple cows who chase it away before she finds the one she can nurse.
At least once during the summer I’ll see a yearling nursing and wonder if the mom had and lost a calf and her last year’s calf is just opportunistic?
They’re beautiful animals without a doubt.
The Roosevelt Elk calves will mostly lose their spots by winter. But the yearlings still act like kids; jumping, running and playing with each other. Here’s one of the little calves trying to figure out the purpose of a scarecrow. To watch this YouTube video in a larger window, click on the play arrow and then on the YouTube icon in the lower right corner.
The otter family can be quiet when they want to. This family has 4 kits. The fourth is up in the grass outside the picture frame.
They were swimming downriver when the one in the video below saw a mudcat (sculpin) that it decided to have for lunch. I was surprised at how long he kept after that fish until he caught it. Based on the otter’s moves, that sculpin was pretty experienced at evading danger!
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.
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.
I like to watch the young elk playing.
We are just starting to see little nubs on the head of the bulls born last summer.