A Beaver Secret Revealed - UPDATE November 4, 2019

Yesterday I wondered why the beavers were making paths up the outside of their lodge. Today, they spent the day showing me. Beaver at lodgeBeaver at lodgeThree beavers repeatedly dove down and grabbed vegetation and mud from the bottom of the lake and walked armload after armload of it up the paths to the top of the lodge. They emerged from the water walking upright, using only their back legs to walk up the steep sides of the lodge with their very short arms holding the load against their jaws and cheeks. The picture, taken from over a tenth of a mile away, shows that the best I could.

I had always assumed that beavers carried mud in their mouths and had to walk on four legs. At one point today I saw two beavers walking up a path side my side, both on their hind legs.

One of the beavers also spent time on the food cache eating branches that were above water. Later they will be swimming out from the lodge underwater, nipping off branches, and carrying them into the lodge to eat the bark and cambium as we observed on a beaver cam (webcam) that was in this lodge 20 years ago. Scenes from those old videos now play in the Northwoods Ecology Hall of the Bear Center after playing for years in the Duluth Aquarium.

Ten pounds disappeared off the scale last night, which could be two bears. Could Limpy have come back in addition to Scaredy? This inquiring mind wishes he knew.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center