Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Beavers in the retention pond (Part I)

What: Sam and I went out last Tuesday afternoon (11/27) to set up the game cam. They've got a number of trails that run under the fence around the retention pond that they've used so we decided to stash some aspen on the uphill side of the fence and put the game cam facing the water on the downhill side so we could get video of them dragging the branches back to the water.

We got about 70 videos starting at 4:30pm and ending around 4:30am. The beavers used the path about every 30-45 minutes or so for the whole 12 hours. The video is a compilation of the three beavers making foraging trips from the retention pond to the beech stand (we caught about a dozen trips on camera). The photo to the right is of our second set up to get shots of the beavers crawling under the fence. The game cam is attached to the beech log in the foreground.

Ecological notes: There were 4 beavers in the pond three weeks ago, but we've only seen 3 at a time in the past couple of weeks. Their cache seems to be primarily beech, with some red maple, white ash, elm, white birch, and witch hazel in the mix. They've also been eating heaps of staghorn sumac, scant black cherry saplings, and an occasional glossy buckthorn. Stay tuned, as there are more videos to come (with all the warm weather, the pond should stay thawed for at least another week or so and they'll be out and about)!!

Where: Retention Pond under powerlines in Centennial Woods

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