During a walk through the Scanlon Creek Conservation area, I heard the unmistakable cries of beaver kits coming from the far side of the swamp. I walked through the forest and came upon the den which beavers had built with sticks, rocks, and mud. The cries were coming from inside the den, and the adult beavers were on guard duty, swimming around it. There were a lot of tail splashing when they saw me, the beavers’ way of warning others about danger. The beavers made it clear that no intruders are allowed near their kits. What’s for dinner?
I became a regular visitor to the beaver den and the beavers became comfortable of my presence. I was watching and listening to the kits’ cries and demands from inside the den. After watching for over two weeks, I had the opportunity to see the beaver kits take their first swim out of the den. One evening two kits swam out to an adult nibbling some leaves as if questioning what’s for dinner.What’s that you are eating?
Beavers are vegetarians. Adult beavers brought different kinds of leaves and branches to the den. Little beaver kits were always curious to know what the adults were eating.
Eat your greens my little one
Adult beavers always shared their food with the kits. The kits were always ready to take a bite from the adult’s food. This adult beaver happily shared its meal with this curious kit.
Beaver kits never ventured far away from the den. Adult beavers always brought them food. Although adults initially shared food with kits, eventually the kits started eating on their own. This is the first time I saw a kit munching leaves all by itself.
I am still hungry
After eating leaves from the twig, the little kit started crying as if it was asking for some more.
Can I have some more please?
It’s fun to watch beaver kits feeding themselves. After finishing its food, this kit being a kid, was demanding for more. I was able to capture its tantrum at the right time.
I like to play
Beaver kits are always fun to watch. This kit after eating leaves, decided to swim around with the twig on its back.I see a stranger
Even though I am a regular visitor to the beaver den, beavers react even for a small sudden movement. However, this little kit too young to realize that I was a stranger, kept on swimming while I was watching.
I have a secret
Adult beavers took turns to guard the den and be with the kits. The kits were very playful around the adults, sometimes trying to climb on their backs. One day this kit swam up to the adult beaver and got close to it, as if it had a secret to share.
Is this really food?
When a beaver brought a branch and started eating its bark, this kit came out of the den and joined the adult. However, the kit was hesitant to eat. After many growls and sounds from the adult beaver, the kit started nibbling the bark.
We live in harmony
It is a known fact that muskrats share beaver dens. I was able to capture a beaver and muskrat swimming side by side near the beaver den.
This is my home too
A muskrat swimming into the beaver den.
We are moving
Beavers build their dens in the water with entrances below water level to protect it from predators. Due to dry weather, the water level in the swamp started receding. When the den entrances were exposed, the beavers started to dig deeper. One day, an adult came to the den growling constantly and after a few minutes, left with a kit in its mouth. This was the first time I had seen a beaver carrying its kit away. It appeared that the beavers too, had to adapt to climate change.Abandoned den
When the swamp dried up, the beavers had already moved out.
When the swamp dried up and the beavers abandoned the den, I was able to walk up to the front and take a closer look at their den. The den had two entrances and the sticks were stacked for about a meter’s height, where they would have had their living quarters.
Building a new home.
I started looking around to see where the beavers had moved to. Again, it was the familiar kits’ cries that directed me to their new home. On the far side of a nearby pond, they were building a new den.
The new den wasn’t as fancy as the previous one. There was no big pile of sticks on the top, with only a layer of mud for its roof. However, there were two entrances submerged beneath the water.
We are a happy family
The beaver family seemed to be enjoying their new home