If your going to attempt to photograph river otters you better eat a hearty breakfast. Otters are full of energy and are constantly on the move. I have followed them along rivers and around Beaver ponds and lakes on many occasions. Sometimes I have ended up miles from the car when finished. I must say they live in the fast lane for sure.
I usually set my camera in AV mode and a high ISO speed in order not to blur the images due to their quick movement. When they do come on shore they are usually tumbling around, playing and jumping back into the water. If you catch them in the Spring when they have their pups you have a better chance of photographing them at a slower pace. They will set the pups up on a log or shore and bring fish to them. They are the greatest fisherman and for the most part can catch a fish at will. I have watched them fish out an area and return in a week or so and repeat the same behavior. A female will spend up to eight hours a day fishing to provide for her pups.
Otter bodies are elongated,sinuous, and lithe, built for vigorous swimming. In most species the limbs are short and paws are webbed. The tail is fully haired, thick at the base and tapering to a point, and in some species horizontally flattened. I find it amazing that their numerous stiff whiskers (vibrissae) around the nose and snout, and in tufts on the elbow are very sensitive and are used in locating prey. The ears are small and round and, like the nostrils, are closed under water. Most otters have claws which come in handy especially when searching under stones for crabs. They are protective animals. I have observed them chasing coyotes and becoming quite aggressive. On one occasion I watched them enter a Beaver Pond and take over the beavers lodge. Places that I have seen otters on numerous occasions are around the Oxbow in Grand Teton National Park also the Madison river and Trout lake in Yellowstone National Park.
God has granted me the privilege of being able to spend many years observing his creation. He also blessed me with a wonderful wife who shares my love of nature and the Creator. There are times when we will sit and just meditate on the wonders before us. I would like to share a verse from the book of Isaiah that has been a comfort to us.
I CREATED YOU AND HAVE CARED FOR YOU SINCE BEFORE YOU WERE BORN. I WILL BE YOUR GOD THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFETIME UNTIL YOUR HAIR IS WHITE WITH AGE. I MADE YOU, AND I WILL CARE FOR YOU. I WILL CARRY YOU ALONG, AND SAVE YOU. ISAIAH 46:3