Monday, September 24, 2012

River Otter 9/24/12 AM

The Buffalo National River is full of otter, mink and beaver. Otter in particular are not very afraid of humans and can offer a great photo opportunity or they are just fun to watch. Otter have a distinctive long tapered tail and a back hump that makes them easy to ID.

While the drought and low water conditions have killed the floating season in the upper river, the pooled up river is very good for photographers and wildlife watchers. All animals need water so simply sitting near a good water hole will often lead to great results.

River Otter, Buffalo National River
Hunting the Buffalo National River
This is the adult otter moving down the shoreline of the Buffalo National River. Note the long tapered tail.

Juvenile River Otter, Buffalo National River
Juvenile Otter Hunting
These juvenile otter were hunting together, a fairly common observance. The one on the left got the fish, the one on the right turned around and gave chase like a good sibling.

Blue Heron Hunting with River Otter
Blue Heron Hunting with Otter
Spotting otter is not easy. Often you will see blue heron (above) working the same pool as otter attempting to pick up scraps.  If you see surface disturbances and a heron flying to them, you may well be looking at feeding otter. Often the clues are subtle, but patience and careful observation pay off. 

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