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A Variety of Beaver Lodge Designs

10-20-14 beaver bank den 080Beavers are hard at work refurbishing their mud and stick lodges in preparation for the coming winter, when their movements will be restricted and they will spend both days and nights inside their lodge. When we think of a beaver lodge, we picture it in the middle of a beaver pond. This was not always the case, however, and still isn’t today. The earliest and most primitive beaver lodges consisted of a burrow in the side of a high bank with the entrance under water (see exposed bank lodge entrance in photo insert). The next advance was the addition of sticks and mud piled over the top of the bank as added protection from predators (see photo). Eventually beavers started building a complete lodge on top of the bank which had an underwater entrance. The most advanced design is the lodge we most commonly associate with beavers — one that is built up from the bottom of the pond and is completely surrounded by water. It requires the greatest amount of work but offers the greatest amount of protection to the beaver.

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4 responses

  1. Marv Elliott

    We have been in places like the Snake River in Wyoming where the water flows too swiftly for a beaver lodge. That kind of place calls for a bank lodge for sure.

    October 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    • Absolutely. Most beavers living along streams have bank lodges for that very reason.

      October 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm

  2. Elizabeth

    Learned for the first time this fall that beavers not only build lodges, but also dig swim channels in the mud around the lodges. Interesting to see, and helpful to us humans for paddling in shallow ponds.

    October 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm

  3. Beavers are fascinating in their adaptations and their effect on ecosystems. Humans don’t always agree to their usefulness, but I think they are great!

    October 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm

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