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Signs Of An Active Beaver Pond

4-7-14  floating beaver logs IMG_0159Beaver ponds have finally started to melt, making it easy to determine whether or not there have been beavers living in any existing lodges over the winter. The tell-tale sign is floating de-barked sticks and branches. During the winter, beavers leave their lodge and swim out to their underwater food supply pile and haul branches back into the lodge where they chew them into foot-long pieces for easy handling. The bark is removed and eaten as the beaver holds the stick and turns it, much as we consume corn on the cob. When little or no bark remains, the stick is discarded out in the open water. These sticks remain hidden underneath the ice on the surface of the water until warm weather arrives and the ice begins to melt. At this point the sticks and branches become visible, and often extend several feet out from the lodge. These sticks will not go to waste, but will be used for dam and lodge repairs. (Photo taken standing on lodge.)

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3 responses

  1. Thank you.

    April 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm

  2. Ron Willoughby

    There are a few of ways to tell if a lodge is active during the winter. One is if the ice is missing or very thin around the lodge. Another is whether you see white, peeled sticks in the vicinity. A third is whether there is snow melt at the apex of the lodge. The last is whether there is a trail leading over the spillway in the dam. (If the pond is really socked in with ice they may not go over the dam, but they usually do).

    April 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm

  3. Great article! Just in time for International Beaver Day! Thank you!

    Heidi Perryman
    Worth A Dam
    http://www.martinezbeavers.org

    April 7, 2014 at 6:52 pm

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