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Muskrats Busy Feeding Young

6-1-17 muskrat & bedstraw 006

Birthing time for Muskrats is late April/early May, so this year’s young are roughly a month old. Weaning begins now and young Muskrats, who have been able to swim since they were two weeks old, begin foraging for themselves. Parents continue to supplement their offspring’s diet during this transition.  Although Muskrats are omnivores, the majority of their diet consists of the roots, stems, leaves and fruits of aquatic vegetation. However, when you’re feeding half a dozen offspring, you harvest whatever is available, including bedstraw (see photo).

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5 responses

  1. I was astonished once, years ago, to watch a muskrat swim past our canoe north of the Arctic Circle.

    May 31, 2017 at 8:27 am

  2. Laurie Spry

    Tips on distinguishing small, young beaver from muskrat in the water? I know the tails are very different, but can you see that difference when they’re swimming? Assume there would be muskrats in a beaver pond…?

    June 1, 2017 at 6:36 am

    • It can be quite tricky if you don’t see the tail! Usually muskrats are in ponds or marshes with lots of cattails, though they certainly can be in ponds without them. I don’t recall ever seeing a muskrat in a beaver pond, though I’m sure it can happen if the beaver pond has a marshy section. The head of a beaver is more blunt that a muskrat’s, but that said, I’ve been fooled before!

      June 1, 2017 at 9:02 am

  3. samanthadurfeephotography

    I thought it was a baby beaver at first. Very interesting.

    June 1, 2017 at 11:32 am

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