Beaver work

I have yet to see a beaver in the wild, and have admired and envied the photos of those (like Mike Powell) who can find them within the range of their telephoto lens. But I do see evidence of their recent activity at one of my favorite duck and swan viewing spots on the creek that runs out of Sucker Lake.

Fresh wood chips on the ground indicate recent beaver activity.

Fresh wood chips on the ground indicate recent beaver activity.

Five, mostly large birch, trees had succumbed to beaver logging.

Six, mostly large birch, trees along the creek had succumbed to beaver logging.

The beavers were smart enough to fell the trees in the direction of the creek, but unfortunately for them, the trees were too far from the creek to fall all the way across it.  Nevertheless, they are slowly changing the nature of this once swift-flowing inlet by reducing the speed of the current and creating obstacles in the path of the fish that move between the lakes.

Only two of the trees actually fell into the creek; the others were too far away or got hung up in the branches of other trees and failed to fall down.

Only two of the trees actually fell into the creek; the others were too far away or got hung up in the branches of other trees and failed to fall down.

By damming creeks and rivers and creating canals to connect bodies of water, beaver do more to shape the wetlands landscape than any other animal (except humans), making it more attractive to a variety of species.  I hope this becomes a beaver “hotspot” in the future, so I can come back and photograph something like this.

By D. Gordon E. Robertson (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

How do they keep from getting splinters in their lips?                                                                 By D. Gordon E. Robertson (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

9 thoughts on “Beaver work

  1. Beavers are crepuscular, so you might have a better chance seeing them first thing in the morning – just as it’s getting light – or late in the day. I have seen them in mid-day on occasion, so when you find a spot where you know they are active, keep checking….you never know when one might be around! Good luck! 🙂

  2. Thanks for the mention, Sue. The beavers at my marsh have been pretty active recently too, taking down a number of willow trees in a different area of the park than their operating area last year. There has been a substantial amount of construction work at the marsh this past six months to dig some deeper pools and regulate the water better and that may have caused the beavers to relocate. Their lodge looks abandoned or at least is in need of some work to get ready for winter. As one of your other readers mentioned, sunrise and sunsets are the times when I have seen the beavers most often (except in winter when I saw them occasionally in daylight). I am confident that you’ll see them before long.

    • I have long admired your beaver shots, so am glad to give your blog a mention. I guess fall is the time for forest clearing in the beaver world, as they get ready for winter. Or perhaps my beavers are relocating also. I’ll keep an eye on this, but this site is not close to my house and requires quite a walk to get into the woods where I found all these trees cut down. I would love to set up a blind and sit there and watch, but the temps are too cold for that sort of thing right now.

  3. I have had the pleasure of seeing beavers in the wild a few times, on our trips to Canada. No decent shots though as I’m usually set up for landscapes when they appear!

  4. Pingback: Busy as a beaver | Back Yard Biology

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s