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PostPosted: January 31st, 2012, 11:05 pm 
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Location: Scarbados, Ontario Canada
I came across this track in the Rouge Valley: as if a small bob sled had traveled across the forest floor, leading from a shallow pond to the river. Fun to follow....


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File comment: The River was the destination of the little critter
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File comment: It snakes its way through the woods
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File comment: following the lay of a summer trail
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IMGP2247.JPG [ 145.03 KiB | Viewed 2662 times ]
File comment: The track starts about here, at the edge of a forest pond, well set back from the river.
IMGP2249.JPG
IMGP2249.JPG [ 95.9 KiB | Viewed 2662 times ]

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PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 11:51 am 
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Location: Gillam, MB
Nice! We see otter tracks all the time up here.


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PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 7:53 pm 
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Low1 wrote:
Nice! We see otter tracks all the time up here.

But down here, within Toronto's boundaries, that's really special!

It took me a while to accept that it was an otter.
I first thought it was a beaver dragging a log into the river, but then the little foot prints on the track made no sense. And as I followed the track, it became clear this wasn't beaver. Coming to the little pond and the burrow there, it dawned on me that it must be an otter.

I am familiar with the sliding tracks of otters in the forests of the shield, down some slope - but this is on the flat and s/he has to work like a boat with outboard motor to make a forward move.

The forest has coyotes (there are tracks crossing the river over the ice, and I've seen one individual once) and I am amazed how unconcerned the otter seems to be considering the two might meet in their travel.

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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 6:15 am 
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario
I would not have thought they would be that comfortable in that area either. Thanks for sharing those.

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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 7:44 am 
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I live on a rural property. My grand-daughter loves to go on "nature walks" down by the creek. She can identify the tracks of all the local residents, from mouse on up to moose. She enjoys reading the story told by the tracks, which she embellishs endlessly with her active 7-year-old imagination.

I've been surprised to see otter down by the creek a few times over the years. Like their larger cousins, the wolverine, they are powerful, agile predators with very large canines. Maybe a very small otter would have a problem with a very big coyote, but I think an adult otter is way too tough a customer to tackle - even a very large coyote would take serious damage.


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PostPosted: February 3rd, 2012, 11:38 am 
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[quote="Erhard']I am familiar with the sliding tracks of otters in the forests of the shield, down some slope - but this is on the flat and s/he has to work like a boat with outboard motor to make a forward move.

The forest has coyotes (there are tracks crossing the river over the ice, and I've seen one individual once) and I am amazed how unconcerned the otter seems to be considering the two might meet in their travel.[/quote]

We see that all the time, on rivers and the edges of lakes. A few steps, then slide... push push slide. I've also seen them slide down hills, run back up and do it again, like a game. They are neat animals. I had a group of five swimming off the end of our dock about 20 ft out as I was cleaning fish. It almost sounded like they were barking at me.

Here's a picture of 3 of them, 2 smaller ones were behind, just out of frame:

http://flickriver.com/photos/tonyloewenphoto/6349461992/

(Sorry, can't embed pictures from my Flickr)

Oh and as others had mentioned, otters are pretty damn vicious, they'll think nothing of killing a coyote. Quite a few friends have lost dogs (big dogs) to them.

But you're right, definitely not that common in populated areas, especially urban.


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PostPosted: February 3rd, 2012, 1:16 pm 
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Quote:

Here's a picture of 3 of them, 2 smaller ones were behind, just out of frame:

http://flickriver.com/photos/tonyloewen ... 349461992/
....
It almost sounded like they were barking at me.

Curious guys, and not afraid!

It's nice to see them - makes you feel nature is intact there! Even though they are unhappy with our presence... :wink:

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PostPosted: February 3rd, 2012, 1:44 pm 
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Erhard, I wonder if the effort bulldozing through the snow like that is paid for once the snow sinters. Once that sliding trail hardens it will become a well-hardened float that will make the next foray easier.
Maybe.

Cheers,
Bryan

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PostPosted: February 3rd, 2012, 2:23 pm 
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I think you are onto something, Bryan - the ease of travel must matter.

In this particular case, s/he may have dragged a fish home to the den. And that probably happens more than once. Thus moving along the trail should be as easy as possible.

I have magnified details from the images and increased the contrast to make them stand out:


Attachments:
File comment: Impressions of the tail.
IMGP2247.jpg
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File comment: Signs of something being dragged on the right
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IMGP2245.jpg [ 151.11 KiB | Viewed 2475 times ]
File comment: In the centre section, you can see the imprint of the trail. And in curve, there is an impression on the right that could be a fish.
IMGP2241.jpg
IMGP2241.jpg [ 177.3 KiB | Viewed 2475 times ]

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PostPosted: February 4th, 2012, 1:21 pm 
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You are forgetting the other possibility!

Their inner Child!

Ever remember just running down the street when the roads were so bad just to enjoy the thrill of slipping and sliding?

Its just plain fun! maybe...

:D

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PostPosted: February 4th, 2012, 1:47 pm 
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System Reset! I went back this morning, and what did I see, making these tracks?! Unbelievable - but I took a picture as proof: :o

Image

Sorry guys, but I could not resist...

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PostPosted: February 4th, 2012, 2:41 pm 
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:clap:
Nice play Erhard! :thumbup:

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