You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Psalm 145:16

Perhaps it is because I rarely see river otters that I enjoy watching them so much. That, along with their unusual but almost constant chortling and purring grunts make them delightful entertainment as I spend a day on the water.

The North American river otter has a life span of about ten years in the wild. It weighs between ten and thirty pounds and seems to be constantly on the move during waking hours. Otters need to consume a lot of food to fuel their high metabolism, and fish usually make up the majority of their diet.

The whiskers of an otter help it detect prey in dark or murky water. When a large fish is caught, the otter will drag it on shore to eat. Smaller fish are consumed at the surface of the water (see above photo). Otters are built well for swimming and catching fish. They close their nostrils and ears when they dive under the surface, and can remain underwater for up to four minutes. They are streamlined to slip easily through the water. Their webbed feet and tail-shape help steer and propel them at speeds fast enough to catch unsuspecting fish or crayfish.

Not long ago I was kayaking when I saw these three pop their heads out of the water. They gave me a long look before disappearing for a few moments, only to surface on the other side of my kayak. They proceeded to swim among the cattails in search of lunch.

Because the eyes of the otter are created to see quite well whilst underwater, they are a bit nearsighted when topside. Since the wind was pushing me gently toward them, I was able to silently drift quite close to get this photo. They continued their soft chortling and purring back and forth the entire time I coasted toward them. No doubt they both saw and scented me, but they must have rightly concluded that I was no threat to them or their fishing hole.

Perhaps another reason I enjoy watching otters so much is because they remind me of our Stardog: always searching for something to eat and going at things full speed – often snorting and chortling their apparent appreciation for the life they’ve been given. Although I realize the otter’s survival is utmost on their minds, they seem to go about life with a lot of fun packed in where ever possible – once again, a lot like Star the Wonderdog. She even had long whiskers, webbed feet, and an otter-like tail too!

Hope you have a great day.




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