Friday, April 17, 2009

Otters at Oxbow NWR

I forgot I had these photos until it came up in my Field Mammalogy class today. So I thought I'd post them. These are from mid-February.

I failed to get a wider-angle overview shot, but you can see Dan's feet and he is facing the frozen pond/wetland.

It's hard to see inside the opening, but there was a lot of scat inside there as well.

These close-ups were in front of the opening.

This image was taken from the side opposite the first photo; there was a bunch of scat and scent on top of the mound there.


  1. I saw this little hideaway around the same time you did, Vivian. An interesting thing about it is that several weeks prior, we found bobcat tracks going to and from that entry hole. There was no otter sign there at that time, and it looked like the bobcat had actually entered the hole at least that one time. So this made me wonder: Had the bobcat been using this as a den, or had it merely investigated it? If it was in fact using it as a den, I am concerned that our activity around it caused it to move on. But then again, I do not know what the bobcat's level of den site fidelity is in winter, prior to the breeding season, in this part of the country. Perhaps they change dens frequently in winter anyway. Nonetheless, I think we need to be mindful of group size and level of noise and commotion when we explore dens.

    Did your mammalogy colleagues or intructor have any enlightening comments about it?

  2. Ooh, I didn't know about the bobcat. We didn't actually talk about this site much in class; I had just mentioned it in passing. But I've posted the photos to my class group and will add the bit about the bobcat, and see if they have any insights!