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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Monday 12/20/2004 River Otter on the Suncook River

I woke up Sunday morning and glanced at the Suncook River as usual. A rather dark object on the ice caught my eye and from it's form I surmised it to be a river otter. Otters are actually quite common in NH, but for some reason this is the first I have spotted from my house in the 25 years I have lived here. I have seen signs of them in the snow along the river in past years, but I just have not seen one from my house.

I regularly see them on the Little Suncook River at Bixby Pond at the state rest area on route four. And I have seen them on the Suncook behind the Bank at the Epsom Circle. Just not here. So it made my day extra special right off. I quickly grabbed a pair of binoculars for a close-up view as the otter frolicked on the ice a hundred yards away or so. I even took a picture, but my little digital camera did not capture the beauty of this animal.

Otters have made a significant return in numbers all across the state thanks to the explosion in beaver numbers the last half century. So goes the beaver, so goes the otter, and mink, and waterfowl. Much of NH's wildlife is directly tied to the successful restoration of beavers.

I returned home after ten PM this evening from a NH Wildlife Federation board-of-directors meeting. It reads three degrees on my thermometer. A bitter wind is casting the snow of last night and today this way and that. Neighbors down the road, and my mom is without power on the coldest day of this winter so far. I pity the poor power company workers who must be outside now trying to restore their power. On these nights I often wonder how any wild thing can survive. There is no place to hide from such cold. Yet they survive. I am so glad to be inside and out of the elements.


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