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AnimalsNature

Busy Beavers—You Bet! (Video)

Beaver with a mouthful, Calgary, Canada (John Cena video)
Beaver with a mouthful, Calgary, Canada (from John Cena video on YouTube)

It has less than 8000 hits on YouTube so far, but this video of a beaver family in Canada mending their house of branches is heading for viral on Facebook for sure!

If you’ve never known why these animals (Castor canadensis) are called “busy beavers,” watch the video. You’ll find out why starting from frame #1. Unexpected bonuses [SPOILER!]: beaver standing up on webbed hind paws and carrying branches with front legs, and a lightning-fast beaver exit under the ice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr-0ulGgcHc

North America’s largest rodent, this flat-tailed, sleek-furred animal can grow up to four feet long and 60 pounds. It lives on land but spends most of its awake time in the water. The beaver fells trees with its long, sharp teeth to build dome-shaped stick-and-mud lodges (up to 10 feet high) and dams. The affable critters earned their Native American name “sacred center of the land” from their ability to create rich habitat for plants and other animals. Beavers love to eat water lily tubers, apples, and the green bark of aspen and other fast-growing trees. They mate for life but can “remarry” if a spouse dies.

From the Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife website:

“Beavers reliably and economically maintain wetlands that sponge up floodwaters, alleviate droughts and floods (because their dams keep water on the land longer), lessen erosion, raise the water table, and act as the “earth’s kidneys” to purify water…. Several feet of silt collect upstream of older beaver dams, and toxics, such as pesticides, are broken down by microbes in the wetlands that beavers create. Thus, water downstream of dams is cleaner and requires less treatment for human use.”

Fur trappers and farmers who drained their land almost wiped out the beavers of North America, Europe, and Asia by the early 1900s. Only about five percent of the likely beaver population before European settlement remains in the United States today.

Many thanks to John Cena for capturing this unforgettable scene from the top of the beaver house (yes, beaver lodges are strong enough to hold at least one person), to PetFlow.com for distribution, and to Jack Gorman and Kathleen Sherf for sharing it with me! As Kathleen remarked, “uber cool!”




2 comments
  1. Heidi Perryman

    Beaver habitat is some of the most diverse and resilient on the planet. In my city we watched our urban stream bloom when we made a decision to live with our beavers rather than trap by installing a flow device to control pond height. Now because of our beaver-maintained wetlands, we regularly see otter, steelhead, wood duck, and even mink in our urban stream!

    Beavers make and maintain the neighborhood for everyone to use.

    Heidi Perryman
    Worth A Dam
    http://www.martinezbeavers.org

  2. Heidi Perryman

    Beaver habitat is some of the most diverse and resilient on the planet. In my city we watched our urban stream bloom when we made a decision to live with our beavers rather than trap by installing a flow device to control pond height. Now because of our beaver-maintained wetlands, we regularly see otter, steelhead, wood duck, and even mink in our urban stream!

    Beavers make and maintain the neighborhood for everyone to use.

    Heidi Perryman
    Worth A Dam
    http://www.martinezbeavers.org

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