A Little Cold Snap - UPDATE December 10, 2019

With the temperature at minus 10 F this morning and maybe colder overnight, Beaver LodgeBeaver Lodge todaybeavers avoided it with a well mudded lodge covered by a foot of insulating snow. The temperature inside the lodge likely reflects the temperature of the water under the ice, which is probably close to freezing—some 40 F warmer than the air.

Beaver lodge on 11-4-19Beaver lodge on 11-4-19With the lake well frozen and no wet spots by the lodge, I believe the beavers are sealed in for the winter and dependent upon their food cache seen near the lodge. It is well visible in the November 4 shot but shows only a few wisps of branches above the snow in the December 10 shot (today).

I’ve wondered how beavers can survive on that little food for over 5 months of ice cover. I don’t know if beavers reduce their metabolism in winter like bears and deer (a little) and chickadees (at night) do. Part of the answer is that beavers make a well insulated lodge that reduces overwinter heat (calorie) loss.

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