Winter Beaver Activity
Typically this time of the year the water is covered over with a thick layer of ice and snow. Little work is done by the beavers while the females are preparing to give birth. I noticed with the above average temperatures this year that the beavers have been putting in some overtime doing what they do best. I noticed since my last visit last fall that they have been enlarging their dams, adding to their food storage and improving their lodge.
It is so hard to believe that these dams are built entirely by the beavers. The picture on the left shows their main dams that’s just over 6 feet in height. Since the fall these guys have added an additional 2 feet to this dam and it is unbelievable how much water they are currently backing up. The second picture shows one of their reservoirs just down stream that they built to give the beavers more access to their food. They need to back up the water with these dams to providing protection from predators, ability to float logs back to their lodge and soften up the mud which helps them build everything up better.
During the fall months the beavers are very busy adding sticks to their food storage stacks to feed on during the winter months. I was shocked to find this food storage larger than I normally find this time of the year. If you look at this picture above you will see their typical way the beaver store the family’s food storage piles. This gives the beaver access to their food when the water is frozen over and limited to just their pond. Then they can swim under the ice to their food storage and bring the sticks back to the lodge to eat.
As the water level rises by increasing the height of the dam these beaver will continue to work on the lodge. They will add more mud and sticks to the outside of the lodge but then inside the lodge remove sticks from the top to add it to the lodge’s floor. It is a perfect way of building the lodge up to the needed size for the family living in it.
These beaver dazzle me every time that I visit them with their ability to do amazing work with sticks and mud.