|The Main Beaver Lodge at the Nature Preserve|
|May Apple drags a branch up the side of the lodge|
|May Apple adds a load of mud to the dam - raising the pond's water level|
When I heard especially loud chewing coming from the inside of the lodge, I realized that the beavers were most likely raising the ceiling of their chamber. They do this by chewing up through the wood of the old roof, while at the same time putting on the new roof and building up the floor platform. One of the beavers was seen retrieving some grass from the shore –and bringing back into the lodge. The grass will be used to carpet the floor of the living chamber.
Renovations to the lodge may not be appreciated by some of the beaver’s tenants. Muskrats, which very often live in their own chambers inside of beaver lodges, will now also have to cope with the change in water level. They may be forced to create a new chamber, or even move to another pond --perhaps into one of the currently uninhabited beaver lodges. The muskrats, as far as I know, have never paid any rent to the beavers, so they can hardly complain.
|Julia - enjoying some Quaking Aspen leaves|
Far from paying the beavers, the muskrats regularly take what they want from whatever beaver supplies are within reach. Beavers don’t often scold muskrats for this behavior, not unless they try to make away with the very poplar branch that they are eating at the time. And even then, they may just receive a quick swat.
Other action at the beaver pond included a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers that were feeding their brood of begging nestlings. These birds chose a dead tree right in front of the lodge as their nest site, while a Flicker and a Great crested Flycatcher were using cavities in trees on the other side of the pond. The noise created by the begging Hairy Woodpeckers was persistent and quite loud. Most likely these youngsters will leave the nest in a couple of days.
The Great Crested Flycatchers were just beginning their nest.
The presumed female was seen bringing some white animal hair into the cavity to
use as nesting material. This flycatcher is incapable of excavating their own
nest cavity, and so they must rely on woodpeckers to provide them with nesting
|The female Great Crested Flycatcher peers out from her nest cavity|