Beaver buffet

There was so much to tell you about in the spring that I saved this post to send during the dog days of summer, and here we are…

In spring, I expect to see beavers eating green stuff, but this one was still enjoying his hemlock twigs. He or she took it to the shallows, and delicately nibbled at the bark, or rather the cambium beneath the bark.

beaver on granny's pond

His technique reminds me of my grandson eating an ear of corn:

You can find the by-products all round the pond: sticks cut into a convenient length for moving and eating later (think packed lunch), and then denuded of their bark.

beaver on granny's pond

Sometimes they just eat it on the tree, and leave the tree standing:


In a few days he was back, in the same place, this time with a large white slice of what I think was the root of a cattail (called bulrush in England). These roots (or rather rhizomes) are nutritious, with roughly the protein content of maize or rice.

Beaver eating cattail root

You can see how dexterous they are, though of course they do not have opposable thumbs:

Beaver eating cattail root

The roots of aquatic plants are one of their favorite foods at this time of year, and you can see them floating around the edge of the pond, the result of their depredations.

Spatterdock root eatern by beavers

In this video you can hear him chewing, above the background noise of the stream cascading over the dam:

I have not seen him for many weeks, but I am hoping he returns in the fall, getting his lodge and his food supplies ready for winter. Watch this space.


4 thoughts on “Beaver buffet”

  1. I would hate to have them eating at the bark of a tree next to my house! I love these critters, so cute. Perhaps part of my mind is left back in childhood with my mother reading me stories of anthropomorphized talking beavers?


  2. So many adorable Beavers-eating photos…sure hope you have a video of your grandson eating an ear of 🌽. Beavers seem like happy & hard working mammals .


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