At long last beavers have been released from their winter lodge confinement and it’s hard not to read a sense of delight into the expression of the yearling beaver in this photograph! In addition to the welcome sun and fresh air, beavers now have access to a variety of food that was not available to them in the winter. One thinks of beavers as strictly bark (cambium) eaters but their diet is far more extensive. In the winter, in addition to their pile of branches stored in the pond in the fall, they have access to the rhizomes of yellow and white pond lilies, which they appear to relish. Once their pond opens up in the spring, they head for the closest green plants – grasses, sedges, ferns and other herbaceous plants which are just starting their spring growth.
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