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More Otter Sign

3-1-13 crayfish IMG_3205It’s often a lot easier to find signs of otters than otters themselves. Recently I discovered two dead crayfish on the shore of a mostly iced-over pond that I knew was inhabited by otters. Nearby otter scat confirmed that these crayfish were probably left by satiated otters. The most important prey item in a majority of otter scat analysis studies is fish, followed closely by crayfish. Otters will take advantage of other prey, such as frogs, salamanders, ducks, muskrats, an occasional young beaver, mice, snakes, insects and even turtles when readily obtainable, but fish and crayfish are first and second choices.

2 responses

  1. Kathie Fiveash

    Almost a Conversation

    I have not really, not yet, talked with otter
    about his life.

    He has so many teeth, he has trouble
    with vowels.

    Wherefore our understanding
    is all body expression —

    he swims like the sleekest fish,
    he dives and exhales and lifts a trail of bubbles.
    Little by little he trusts my eyes
    and my curious body sitting on the shore.

    Sometimes he comes close.
    I admire his whiskers
    and his dark fur which I would rather die than wear.

    He has no words, still what he tells about his life
    is clear.
    He does not own a computer.
    He imagines the river will last forever.
    He does not envy the dry house I live in.
    He does not wonder who or what it is that I worship.
    He wonders, morning after morning, that the river
    is so cold and fresh and alive, and still
    I don’t jump in.

    ~ Mary Oliver ~

    March 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    • Kathie, I love Mary Oliver and this poem is one of her best! Thank you so much for posting.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

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