Tag Archives: wildlife

#snowonthealsea

We’re enjoying a snowday from home today.  Snow on the beach is such a rarity on the Oregon Coast and I got to kinda see it once…at midnight…from a distance…lit by my camera flash…see here: Snow on Tillicum Beach

Today I’m enjoying it from up the Alsea River.

alsea river snow
Alsea River at head of tidewater

We had plans for going to Newport to volunteer at the Family History Center and then do our weekly grocery shopping.  But caution prevails today.

driftboat in snow
timeout for snow

Some don’t mind travelling on snow days but the duck route isn’t any different than any other day on the river.

ring-necked ducks, alsea river
Ring-necked ducks

Most of the snow fell before the tide started going out this morning.

snow level meets tide level
Snow level meets tide level on the Alsea

Salmonberries first gathered weeds from the high river last month and now snow.

salmonberries gathering snow
Salmonberries gathering snow on the Alsea

 

Chicken-chasing bear

We had a report of a bear that chased some feral chickens in a nearby yard.  He was not deterred by the home-owners attempts to scare him away.  A bear that is not afraid of humans can be dangerous.  Fortunately, no human or property was hurt and the feral chicken issue is diminishing.

I enjoy wildlife from a distance – from the safety of my home.  We do not leave out garbage cans but they do like the natural food source along the Alsea River on the Oregon Coast.

Nursing Elk

From a distance, in a herd of elk, it is sometimes hard to distinguish the yearlings from the newest calves after they’ve lost their spots.  But there is one time when it is obvious.

Click/tap to watch the video here:  Roosevelt Elk nursing her calf

Roosevelt Elk nursing her calf
Roosevelt Elk nursing her calf

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

Mink vs Mallard – Act II

How lucky are we to see this again!!

I saw 2 groups of Mallard ducks across the river.  They stopped to look at something on the riverbank of the Alsea River.  I saw a very small mink running along the bank so I started recording.  Mama-Mallard kept her 5 babies safe again!

If you watch where the duck is looking you’ll see movement under the brush.  That’s the mink.  He dives in after them and Mama scatters her ducklings.  This is a larger mink than I saw at first so I’m wondering about a mink family living nearby???  How cool is THAT!

Click/tap the link to watch the YouTube video:  https://youtu.be/9T_Nh9kePiA

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

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

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.

Nutria-family-exploring

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.