Warmest Wishes in the New Year!

A Christmas Surf Scoter

It is the new year and as if to provide one last “hoorah for 2019,” on December 25, a lone otter caught a Christmas Surf Scoter for breakfast in Admiralty Bay. The images below are not exceptional given the low light, but you can see the wing, part of the head, and the bright orange feet in the images. Note there is a drake surf scoter looking on, rather unperturbed during the hunting sequence.

River Otter Diet Data – Research Phase 1: Completed (December, 2019) and To Be Presented (February, 2020)

The last of the diet data was completed in December of 2019. The samples are drying for analysis through Pacific Identifications for a final interpretation of our Whidbey Island river otters’ seasonal foraging and diet preferences across the island. This data comes from latrines as far north as Strawberry Point to as far south as Clinton, as well as Lake Pondilla, Crockett Lake, Admiralty Bay, Admirals Lake, Bush Point, Mutiny Bay, Greenbank Farm, and Deer Lagoon. I will discuss the findings of phase 1 of this project, Density, Distribution, and Diet of Whidbey Island’s River Otters at the Sound Waters University Conference, Saturday, February 1, 2020 in Langley. Here is a link to that exceptional community of conservationists, scientists, and educators – Sound Water Stewards Conference. Among the 60 different classes and presentations during this conference, Sarah Schmidt will be presenting her work with Whidbey Island bats, Dr. Greg Jensen, will discuss his research of Salish Sea marine invertebrates, and Dr. John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research provides the keynote address, Changes in Large Whales of the Salish Sea and Recent Mortality and Threats. Register here.

Ever Grateful to You, Otter Spotter Supporters

Special thanks to Pam Stein, Jan and Karl Smith, Jill Cooper, Bob Wilbur, Cathy Miller, Rebecca Jaffe, Janet Johnston, and Jeanine Granstrom for their recent river otter reports, and support.

Have a Joyful, Successful and Healthy 2020!