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Sign of Beaver Activity

beaver scat 041Beavers are meticulous housekeepers, in that they almost always defecate in the water, not in their lodge, and rarely on land. Because of this, it is rare to see their scat, but fall is as good a time as any to look for it (should you wish to see it).

In preparation for winter, beavers are repairing their dams and lodges, and stock-piling a winter food supply pile of branches in the pond near their lodge. They spend a lot of time working in the water in one area, which means that signs of their presence, including scat, are plentiful in these areas. If you look in the water along a beaver dam at this time of year, it’s highly likely that you will find light-colored, kumquat-size pellets, which, as you might expect, are full of tiny bits of woody fiber. The pellets are essentially little balls of sawdust, and disintegrate easily. (Handling, for those tempted to do so, is discouraged due to giardia or “beaver fever.”)

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5 responses

  1. Beth Herr

    Something to look for next time ur swamping

    Sent from my iPhone


    November 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

  2. janetpesaturo

    Beautiful photo 😉 I have seen beaver scat only 3x before. Twice in a beaver pond through the clear water, and once in an abandoned beaver wetland which had drained. The scats were everywhere.

    November 12, 2014 at 8:08 pm

  3. Susannah Elliott

    One of my favorite nature experiences was walking and skating on a frozen beaver swamp/pond in the Berkshires near our family place one winter. You could walk or skate right up to the lodge and a few snags (which have for a few years now been home to great blue heron nests). I noticed all these light-colored ball-shaped things strewn all around the mucky, leafy pond floor through the crystal clear ice maybe two feet down – a whole lot of beaver scat looking just like your beautiful photo. This is what I guessed it was, to my amazement. I spent quite a bit of time on my stomach gazing around this underwater world (while others skated around) admiring all these almost glowing wads of beaver scat under the frozen surface. Spectacular!

    November 12, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    • It’s so nice to know there are kindred spirits out there!

      November 12, 2014 at 10:23 pm

  4. Martha’s Vineyard is beaver-free. There have been no beaver here for as long as recorded history has been around. Yet, when I walk the Atlantic beaches here, I from time to time find beaver-chewed sticks and treechunks. My assumption is that they flow to the sea from the Connecticut or Merrimack Rivers. And after drifting, sometimes end up here.

    Tom Hodgson

    November 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm

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