Varying Beaver Behaviors

Varying Beaver Behaviors

Varying Beaver Behaviors

Beavers are one of the most interesting animals on the planet. Known for their engineering skills and their ability to build dams, these semi-aquatic mammals have captivated us for centuries. But what can we learn from observing the behavior of these fascinating creatures?

Dam Building

The most iconic behavior of beavers is their dam building. They use mud, stones, and sticks to build dams that can be up to 2,790 feet long and over 20 feet tall! The purpose of these dams is to create a pond where the beavers can live and access food and water. The beavers will also use the dam to protect their lodge from predators.

Tree Gnawing

Beavers are well-known for their sharp teeth, which they use to gnaw through trees to get to the bark or twigs. Beavers will select a tree, usually one that is close to the water, and then use their teeth to gnaw off the bark and twigs. This behavior is often seen in the winter months when beavers are looking for food to store for the cold months ahead.

Social Behavior

Beavers are very social creatures, living in large colonies together with their family and other beavers. They communicate with each other using whistles and other noises. They also cooperate on activities such as building and maintaining the dam, foraging for food, and keeping the lodge clean and in good condition.


Beavers will also often cache food, storing it away for later use. This is usually done by burying the food in mud or leaves. This behavior is especially noticeable in the winter months when food is scarce. The beaver will store food in its cache so that it can access it later on when food is harder to find.

Defensive Behavior

Beavers will also exhibit defensive behavior when they feel threatened. They will slap their tail on the water to create a loud noise, which can be heard up to a kilometer away. This is a warning sign to other beavers that danger is near. They will also stand their ground and bark loudly to make themselves look larger and more intimidating.

From dam building to caching food, beavers exhibit a wide variety of unique behaviors. By understanding and appreciating these behaviors, we can better appreciate the importance of conserving these fascinating creatures and the ecosystems they inhabit.

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