River Otter Tracks at Butternut Brook

River Otter Tracks and Slide Marks on Butternut Brook, Litchfield, Connecticut, USA, February 12, 2016
A group of River Otters (Lontra canadensis) traveled along Butternut Brook toward the Bantam River/Lake outlet where it was ice free.  The group consisted of at least 3 animals but there may have been one more.  It was not possible to get a closer look at the tracks because the ice is not thick enough to walk on but a photograph was taken from the bridge on North Shore Rd.  It is difficult to determine from this spore the group composition but it is very likely that this was an adult female with her kits but it could also consist of a group of males.  River otter home ranges tend to be larger in the winter because they need to travel between areas where the water surface is ice free.  They will often travel along waterways but may occassionally traverse along upland routes.  River otters consume meat, primarily fish, but their diet will include frogs, crayfish, and other prey depending on their seasonal availability.

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