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Beaver Ponds & Waterfowl

6-5-13 mallard & ducklings 151The relationship between beavers and waterfowl is a strong one. In creating ponds and wetlands, beavers provide valuable waterfowl habitat. Beaver ponds are attractive to most dabbling duck species, particularly American Black Ducks and Mallards (pictured). Dead snags that are often found in beaver ponds provide Hooded Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, Buffleheads and Wood Ducks with nesting cavities. During spring and fall, beaver ponds are used by migrating waterfowl, such as Green-winged Teal and Ring-necked Ducks, for the fuel they provide (aquatic invertebrates, plant seeds, tubers, buds and rhizomes). Waterfowl surveys in 2002 in Wyoming found that rivers and ponds with beavers had 75 times more ducks than those without beavers.

5 responses

  1. Lynne Fitzhugh

    Mary, I treasure your morning posts and always learn things I hadn’t known. This one about beaver ponds inspires me to mention a free presentation my organization (Friends of Fairlee Forests) is hosting July 17, 7 PM at Lake Morey Resort. Susan Morse, Steve Hagenbuch of Audubon, Brett Engstrom, and Orange County Forester David Paganelli will be unveiling the research they’ve been doing in the large and little-known wetland complex below Bald Top Mt. It includes many active beaver ponds, a heron rookery, and lots of ducks, among other wonderful things. I hope you can come as I’d love to meet you!

    Lynne

    ________________________________

    June 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    • Sounds like an amazing evening, Lynne! I will do my best to make it…I would love directions to get to these wetlands, if you didn’t mind emailing them to me! (mholland@vermontel.net)

      June 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm

  2. Meade Cadot

    Harold “Flip” Nevers-NHFG& NH Federal Aid biologist (I think retired)-and now spouse of Carol Foss of NH Audubon, did his UNH masters degree research on beaver ponds, black ducks and wood ducks right here in NH (I think ~1970??). He found that wood ducks exclusively used new beaver ponds and black ducks mainly active beaver ponds. As you may know Mallards are not native to New England (“introduced”)-and they were much less common back in ’70.

    Cheers!

    Meade

    _____

    From: Naturally Curious with Mary Holland [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2013 4:58 AM To: cadot@harriscenter.org Subject: [New post] Beaver Ponds & Waterfowl

    Mary Holland posted: “The relationship between beavers and waterfowl is a strong one. In creating ponds and wetlands, beavers provide valuable waterfowl habitat. Beaver ponds are attractive to most dabbling duck species, particularly American Black Ducks and Mallards (pictur”

    June 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm

  3. Roseanne Saalfield

    and how big were those beaver ponds on average? far larger than our pond i would bet and how hidden and off the beaten path were they? pretty well hidden, like the cutlers’, i would guess. and how important as a landscaping feature were those beaver ponds? not very,i would guess i would have happily engaged the beaver in an out of the way pond far from my viewshed and far from trees i had planted, hauled hose to and watered for one to two hot spring, summers and falls. i dont have any regret about the decisi

    June 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm

  4. Beaver ponds could restore the water tables here in Southern Ontario and Quebec (Canada) plus restore the water filtration system into the Great Lakes, if we let them. They are important factors in holding water and preventing drought, which we suffer from now. With all of the drainage systems put in for agriculture and development, beavers could save and retore our fresh water systems. The life cycles they support and create may be our saving grace.

    June 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm

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