Tag Archives: river otter

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]

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River Otter Family of 7

The water boils when this River Otter family rolls through.  It’s hard to count them in the water.  It was hard enough to count them on land in the low light of dusk (which is why I couldn’t focus).

otter kits
5 kits and 2 adult otters

But they are fun to watch.  They took a nice long dirt bath on the other side of the river before they came over to continue their dinner.

 

Alsea River Reflections

After some needed reflection at church, we came home to even more reflections.

What a beautiful day on the Alsea River!

alsea river
Weeds are pretty when properly placed

Blue sky and still waters on the Alsea today make for beautiful reflections.

slack tide on alsea river
Must be slack tide

Just a few of our fishing buddies swam by…

river otter on alsea river
Fish don’t grow on trees ya know!

A family of otters and a family of grebes caught crawdads and mudcats for dinner.

red-necked grebe
Red-necked Grebe?  No – Hooded Merganser female or juvenile

I thought we were watching some pied-billed grebes but the bill looks too long and thin.

My friend at the US Fish & Wildlife told me it’s a Hooded Merganser – either a female or juvenile.

I thought I could recognize those by now!  But it HAS been a while since I’ve seen one.  They don’t nest near here.

Otter Family!

We’re not sure if this is the same family we’ve seen before with 4 kits.  Dad must be on a fishing trip.

Although these photos are mine and taken on the Alsea River, Oregon, I got the scoop on them from here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/river_otters.html

Everything in italics is from me.

Otter kit sneakin' a drink
Sneakin’ a drink

At 8 to 10 weeks the young otters start exploring outside their den and are introduced to solid food.  That one’s not too old to forget that mama has yummy milk though.

Otter mom with kits
I think I’ve been made

River otters are active day and night; around humans they tend to be more nocturnal. Otters spend their time feeding and at what appears to be group play.

Otters playing and drying their fur
Playing and drying their fur

They also dry their fur, groom themselves, and mark their territory by vigorously scratching, rubbing, and rolling on the ground. River otters are active year round, and, except for females with young in a den, are constantly on the move.

otter mom with kits
Sticking close to mom

They tend to follow a regular circuit that is covered in one to four weeks. Males can travel 150 miles within a particular watershed and its tributaries in a year. A family may range 10 to 25 miles in a season.

As they frolicked up the river, past a great blue heron, they left our sight.  At one point we started hearing a high-pitched bark or, it was more of a chirp.  I thought it was an osprey but there was nothing in the sky.  The sound seemed to come from different places, first one side of the river and then the other.  We couldn’t see the otters anymore.  The heron didn’t fly away immediately when the chirping started but eventually did.  We’re sure it was an alarm sound from one of them but not sure which one was in trouble or how.

4 Otter Kits

I knew if I could watch long enough I’d see all the otters.

4 otter kits
She’s got FOUR!

Mom went in for a nap and the kits stayed out to play and fish a little more.

otters playing
Doin’ what ‘e oughter

I got to watch the otters on the Alsea for about 30 minutes today 🙂

The thing I like about workamping is it puts you right in the middle of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife!

And if it doesn’t, maybe you’re doing it wrong?

The Garden of Eden – Oregon Coast

I feel like I live in the Garden of Eden…only I’m not naked.

River Otter - Alsea River
Snap-Crackle-Pop

I’ve been hearing popping or cracking noises from across the river all day.  There are willows and blackberries that hang out over the water and it’s dark under there.  But I finally saw that it is my friend Otto the River Otter.  I can’t see what he’s eating.

River Otter - choke
AAaaaacchhkk – Hairball

Sorry!  This hasn’t gotten old for me yet.

3 Otter Kits
3 Otter Kits

I kept watching after the adult disappeared and finally saw 3 kits cautiously hugging the water’s edge with mom close by.  They ducked into this area where the shrubs form a protective roof.  They played there until the tide raised the water and the sky got dark enough that I couldn’t see them anymore.  I wonder who their predators are?

King Fisher - Alsea River
King Fisher

This King Fisher was really hitting the water hard as he fished the Alsea River.

King Fisher Dive
King Fisher Dive

I was determined to get a shot but I can’t tell if he’s even right-side-up in this photo. 🙂

Field of Foxglove
Field of Foxglove

Time for a walk today – past the fields of Foxglove.

Flicker Nest
No wonder those Flickers are so spunky!

They’ve got populate and replenish the earth…or the air.

Alsea River Crawdads
Alsea River Crawdads

Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!  Aren’t those beautiful bugs!  I guess these would snap-crackle-and-pop in an Otter’s teeth.

Don’s trap works great!

Sculpin
Sculpin

I know I’ve seen these little sculpins in the otters mouth.

Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle

I don’t know how many times Don has pointed out Stinging Nettle to me.  I’ve never had poison oak or poison ivy, let alone stinging nettle…until yesterday.

NOW I will not forget what it looks like.

Okay, so I’m not in the Garden of Eden.  Ouch!

But just a little place on my finger.  Don, on the other hand, rolled in it.  That’s another story…for another day.  It will be funny….eventually.

We Otter Be in Pictures

But we’re behind the camera instead.

Baby River Otter
Baby River Otter

I only saw one kit across the river.  So I don’t know where the other adult is or if there are other otters.

The baby didn’t stick around long.  It went in the water once and then walked along the bank and disappeared.

River Otter - Catchin' His Limit
Catchin’ His Limit

I watched the adult for about 20 minutes in the Alsea River this evening; a little down-river from Blackberry Campground.  You can see the fish in his mouth.

River Otter Gag
AAaaccckkk – Hairball

Do otters get hairballs?  hahaha – just kidding!  I know they throw up the fish bones and scales and crawdad parts.  I didn’t watch to see if that’s what he was doing though.

River Otter Munch
Anyone Got a Toothpick?

His face looks like a cat with those big whiskers.