Photographing at the Viera Wetlands, Viera, FL is a wonderful opportunity to see various birds, insects, and wildlife all year long. Though known for its varied and abundant avian population, the wildlife there can be intriguing and surprising. A trulynice surprise is to view and photographan otter.
The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or the common otter,is a member of the weasel family, and an adultcan weigh between 11 and 31 lbs. They live inburrows close to the water’s edgethat have many tunnel openings, one of which allows the otter to enter and exit the body of water. Female otters give birth to between one and six young in these underground burrows, and have easy access to bring the babies from the water andonto land.
The river otter can walk, run, bound or slide on land, then slip silently backinto the water barely leaving a ripple. Their favored food is fish, and their sensitive whiskers allows it to detect prey in murky water. Otters also dine on various amphibians, crayfish and turtles, and occasionally small mammals. This semi-aquatic mammal is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur, drying themselves and maintaining the quality of their fur by frequently rubbing and rolling on grass andbare land.
This otter enjoys a Conservation status of “least concern”and can be found year-round inwaterways throughout the United States and Canada.