Yesterday I asked how beavers break the ice – using their heads, backs or tails? I needn’t have wondered. When anyone has any question about beavers at all they only need to do one thing. Ask Bob Arnebeck because he’s seen it before and has it on film. I love this video more than Christmas itself. Turn the sound UP so you can hear the ice cracking in the beginning.
Isn’t that wonderful? Not only does the beaver break the ice and gain exit, he uses all three methods in a row! Because, why limit yourself?
I had always thought about the importance of breaking OUT of the ice so you can forage for food when your cache gets low, but this video made me think of the other, more pressing concern. Sometimes in these temperatures the water is quick to refreeze. That means it can be a struggle for the beaver to get back IN! A beaver who’s frozen out has no warm lodge, no family members to cuddle with and can’t reach his food cache. There must be some beavers who can’t get back in and simply die of exposure or predation eventually.
Not this beaver. The video’s a little blurry but watch how he deals with that big sheet of ice that covers his exit hole.
If I haven’t told you often enough, I LOVE BEAVERS. They are SO COOL! Thank you Bob!
Another fine beaver report from Eastern Massachusetts – where we need beaver wisdom most! This from Langsford Pond in Glouster, lovingly recorded and described by Kim Smith on the award winning blog, Good Morning Glouster.
Beaver Pond, also known as Langsford Pond, is located on the outskirts of Cape Ann’s Dogtown. Exquisitely beautiful and peaceful, the pond is teeming with life, habitat largely created by the relatively new presence of the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis).
Beavers are ecosystem engineers and the ponds they create become wildlife magnets. Think about just this one example of the ecology of a beaver pond: woodpeckers make holes in the dead trees engineered by Beaver activity, Wood Ducks nest in the holes created by the woodpeckers, and raptors hunt the smaller birds.
More examples of how Beavers benefit other species of wildlife include favored nesting sites of both the Great Blue Herons and Osprey are the dead treetops of older trees in beaver swamps. Local species of turtles, the Snapping Turtle and the Eastern Painted Turtle, benefit from abundant vegetation created by beaver tree felling, which causes the forest to regenerate. Snapping and Eastern Painted Turtles prefer standing and slow moving water and hibernate under logs and lodges of Beavers. Painted Turtles also use floating logs to bask upon.
Langsford pond is all the way at the ocean end of the state – the side that isn’t usually too patient with beavers. The pond is near the Atlantic 150 miles from Skip Lisle or Mike Callahan and 300 miles from Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife. Wherever she gleaned her beaver information it probably wasn’t from any of them, but its refreshingly accurate nonetheless!
Thanks Kim, for a beautiful look at a baystate beaver pond!