Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Beavers in the backyard

There are some neighbors we haven't met at the new place yet, because their front door is still under the ice. We have Beavers in the creek in back of our house. That should be neat, as long as they don't chew down the big trees in back of our property and try to take out the house or the pool.

A few weeks ago when the ice thawed they came out and chewed down more branches and brought them inside their lodge for a snack. The rodents don't hibernate and actually swim around under the ice (they can hold their breath for like 15 minutes apparently).

It looks like a small lodge in the side of the creek bank. It must get pretty boring in there. After cruising through a Wikipedia article they appear to make two chambers in there, sometimes on different levels. One for drying off and the other chamber for living.

We found the dam upstream and during the thaw they also took the opportunity to fire more branches in there. If they do become a nuisance they say you're not doing yourself any favors by destroying the dam, they will just build it back up again and cut more trees in the process. One thing that I read about that can piss them off or psyche them out is a beaver dam drain tube. It's a long perforated tube you sink and drive through the dam underwater so that is allows water to drain. The beavers can't find it, they are unable to raise the water level while it is in place and they get pissed off and leave.

Hillarious. I can see the female beaver yelling at the male now. "What the hell are you doing, your dam sucks!"

Update. I just saw him for the first time. He's pretty dark brown and hard to see. I snapped this through the window. When I stepped onto my deck he disappeared into his ice hole.


Tripper said...

An active beaver in your very own backyard. Cool. I think you should trap it and shave it and then send it back out into the wild. Help discourage the local pelt hunters.

Zartimus said...

For them to be in danger we'd have to convince Europe that Beaver hats are cool again.

Not gonna happen!