(Photo by Brent Paull)
The beach was clear of ice and snow, and the gray rocks and gravel were drying in the warm sun. Nearby grass was showing hints of green, early for this Alaska spring. Drifting on its back in Kachemak Bay, near the town of Homer, Alaska, a sea otter ate morsels of food that it had gathered during a deep dive.
On the shore, spotters with high-powered telescopes watched the feeding otters, while scientists helped a pilot guide a small rotary-wing drone directly above the otters. The group was there to see if unmanned aircraft might help with data gathering. For more on this story, click on the image below: