Friday, March 5, 2021


I've seen one muskrat previously and eaten another on a different occasion (see here). So it was with real delight that I followed the course of this muskrat down a canal at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in northern Utah last weekend, backing up my rental SUV and taking photos in receding light, trying to get clear angles through the tall cattails. 
In all honesty, I was not sure what I was seeing (realize that these photos were taken with a 600 mm lens in dim light and provide a better view than what is was getting through the camera view finder). I thought it might be a beaver, a muskrat, or even an otter. Most of my photos were horrible, but a few are at least recognizable. 
It followed a straight course down the canal for quite awhile. 

They have long, rat-like tails, slightly flattened vertically, covered with scales instead of hair, that they use to propel themselves while swimming. They spend most of their time in water and can stay under water for 12 to 17 minutes. They mostly feed on cattail, which it was swimming between in the canal, as well as small animals.  


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  2. Cute little muskrat. Reading your post brings to mind a classic song: