River Otters are most active at night and so are not noticed as often as are daytime animals. When I have seen them, there are usually two or three together. But unfortunately, they move off quickly, making them difficult to photograph.

Once after a light fresh snow I watched as they got up speed and then playfully slid along the dock for a few meters. However, play does not seem to be the only reason they come out of the water; preening and defecation seem primary motivations. Some of its antics can be seen in pictures taken at various times and in various lights but always on the same dock.

otterThe Northern River Otter only leaves the water occasionally.

otter dive It looks as though it is napping, although it is actually preening.

otter pairIt looks like lollygagging to me.

otter diveThe otter’s tail is long, dark, and pointed.

otterEven though the otter spends most its time in the water, to see the whole animal, one must wait for those few occasions when it climbs out onto land or a dock.

otter pairDuring the short time an otter is out of the water it spends its time scratching…

otter dive…preening…

otter…and biting.

otterThe fur of the otter looks matted; why is it different than shown in some of the other images?

otterDespite spending most if its time in the water, the otter always climbs out of the lake to defecate.

otter pairThe River Otter doesn’t sit still for a moment.

otter forepawThe otter’s has five clawed and webbed toes on each foot.  Rita Wege

foot padsThe underside of each foot has prominent pads.  Rita Wege

Fraser tartan