Otter Spotting at Chicopee Lake
Exciting news! A family of Eastern River Otters (Lontra canadensis) was recently spotted frolicking in Chicopee Lake.
This endearing mammal, a member of the weasel family, is found in a variety of aquatic habitats across Georgia and much of the Eastern United States, the Pacific Northwest and almost all of Canada.
The otter has a number of adaptations that help this industrious creature ‘make a living’ in the streams, ponds and wetlands of the Chicopee Woods. Covered with a thick coat of insulating fur, the otter’s streamlined body combines with webbed, powerful legs and a tapered tail to make it an expert swimmer. Ultra-sensitive whiskers on its face help the otter catch its food either under water or on shore. This carnivore’s diet includes fish, freshwater mussels, crawfish, frogs and salamanders and small reptiles. On shore it may eat small rodents or birds.
Since otters are crepuscular animals, the best time to see them from the dock at Chicopee Lake just after sunrise or before sunset. As a bonus, hikers report that they also see beavers (Castor canadensis) at this great habitat. You can differentiate beavers from otters since the beaver has a much larger head and a flatter tail.
For more information about otters, beavers or other Chicopee Woods wildlife, call Elachee at 770-535-1976.