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Wildlife update

May 11, 2010

Tonight I glanced out back to see the clouds and some movement caught my eye. I looked down to see three baby nutria (nutlings?) by the water’s edge. Almost all baby animals are cute, but baby nutria? Just barely. Despite their nasty rat tails, the kids have a semi-cuteness about them and mostly look like beavers. They lose all cute upon adulthood, though. I mean, really–a rat tail and orange teeth? Did they lose a bet during creation?

Standard disclaimers about photo quality in these poorly-lit, far-off situations apply. Forever.


I actually took this picture after all of the nutria photos (I value accuracy!), but this was the scene that caught my attention.


And then I looked down and was all, que the heck? This little guy swam off fairly quickly from the noise of my door opening.


But this one was way too hungry to leave. Their other brother (must I now mention Newhart?) couldn’t decide and was in and out of the water. 


I guess this settles the question of whether geese and nutria are enemies. 


Sibling bonding time.


I have no caption for this photo, so I will tell you that while out on my porch taking photos, hummingbirds kept whirring by and getting really close. I swear I almost got stabbed! They can be really crazy when they’re mating.


Tired of nutria pictures yet?


I have a feeling Holly won’t be crazy about this post. She can’t forget the fateful day when a nutria bared its orange teeth and hissed at her.

And we’re done with the nutria! But I remembered a couple of photos I took the other night when I saw a Belted Kingfisher on a nearby tree. Actually, I think this is a Queenfisher.


Good evening, your highness.


Of course I wasn’t quick enough to photograph it, but shortly after this photo she dove straight into the water and then flew away (hopefully with a fish for her trouble). I know she was just doing her job, but I thought it was a cool sighting.

Okay, I’m tired now.

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From → animals, nature

10 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    So… What eats nutria, anyway? Where do they fit into the food chain? On the bright side, you got to have another wildlife sighting from your back door. But I am sorry it was just nutria. 😛 Nice picture captures though! -R

  2. I don't know.. alligators or crocodiles? 🙂 They do live in the swampy southern areas of the US, so maybe (and I think they originate from South America or something).

  3. Anonymous permalink

    I googled Nutria Predators and you're right that their only natural predators are humans or alligators. (The babies get eaten by snakes and stuff.) I didn't know they had 12-15 babies a year for 3-4 years. So if you saw three, it's possible they have more sibs swimming around — or gobbled up. Ick. Blame the Tabasco sauce guy. He apparently had a lot to do with Nutria's introduction resurgence in the wilds of Louisiana (and they spread from there, I'm guessing). -R

  4. Do you think there are alligators in the lake/pond out my door? Because maybe I forgot to mention that there are not. 😛 Although we aren't allowed to swim there…wonder why? 😉

    Are the 12-15 babies in one litter, though?

    I don't know if they actually spread from there or were placed up here too. I had never even heard of them until I moved here, but I guess they could be in some parts of the other states between us and LA. Anyway, yeah.. bad move, Tabasco! Seeing some babies once for photos is fine, but I really don't like the idea of them roaming the yard.

  5. I ADORE that first photograph!!!!!

    And the last two?! SO CUTE!!!

  6. Thanks, Laura!

  7. Loooove that first photo! You can put that in the “potential wedding gifts for Ruth” collection. 😉

    -Ruth M

  8. That first picture is gorgeous!!

    I'm sure it must have been very traumatic to be hissed at by a nutria. I get traumatized at the mere sight of possums. Nutria are slightly cuter, though.

  9. Ruth – I'd be happy to! 🙂

    Thanks, Brenda! I'm not sure how much cuter nutria are than possums.. baby possums are pretty cute!

  10. Another vote for the awesomeness of the first photo. Remember when you were thinking about taking the 2-bedroom instead of the unit you took? How drunk were you!

    Wow, nutria sure look different as babies 0_o

    And…obligatory Holls mention!

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