Rhode Island’s Web of Life
River otters can live 10 to 20 years. These three and half to four foot long mammals depend on clean water and a healthy supply of fish, frogs, snakes, mice, birds, crayfish and mussels.
- The river otter is a long, sleek, muscular animal
- When otters dive their ears and nose close
River otters digest and metabolize food so quickly that food passes through their intestines within an hour.
The web feet and slim profile allow otters to fly through the water
Click to enlarge any of these images
The snowy egret stalks the marshes, coves and rivers for small bait fish such as mummichog, spearing, sand eel or sand lance
Snowy egret charges a school of mummichogs
The egret strikes with lightning speed
The snowy seizes the mummi behind the gills
A good squeeze and a shake and the mummi is about to be eaten
Snowy egret gulps down a fat little mummichog
These semi-aquatic rodents feed primarily on aquatic plants and they can be found in slow-moving-streams, coastal and freshwater marshes, lakes, ponds and swamps.
A muskrat swims toward the shoreline
- With a mouthful of weeds the muskrat heads for its den
They are prodigious and can produce up to 3 litters per year, each with 6 to 7 young. Breeding takes place from late March through July.
Osprey – The Fish Hawk
When the ospreys return to Rhode Island they start tidying up their nests with sticks and grass. Osprey mate for life and return to the same nest year after year.
Osprey building nest with marsh grass and twigs
A full load of nesting material
Osprey grasps herring in its talons
Alewives and blueback herring have an enormous impact on the environment and they are a vital component to the food chain.
A group of volunteers help the Rhode Island Dept. of Fish of Wildlife scoop out and transport herring to an aerated truck. These herring will be transferred to the Pawcatuck watershed where they will fortify 1300 acres and 8 stream miles.
Herring Heroes scoop and transport fish
River herring stack up in a shallow pool
Worker dumps herring into transport truck
Check back for Rhode Island’s Web of Life – Part 2
This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 at 2:25 am
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Tags: cove, ducks, forest, herring, Laptew, marsh, mumichog, muskrat, otter, raven, Rhode Island, river, snowy egret
Posted in: Environment, Fish, osprey, otter