Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Beaver Kits and More at the Beaver Pond

We have at least 3 new beaver kits at the pond this summer. They were initially seen about 2 weeks ago when they first began venturing out of the lodge. Well before that I knew it was likely that kits were in residence since both Julia and Tippy, her 2-year old daughter, had swollen mammary glands. This is a somewhat unusual since normally there is only one female (the matriarch) that reproduces in a colony. Another atypical aspect of this colony is the fact that there is no obvious patriarch.  Since Julia's mate, May Apple disappeared 2 years ago, there has been no sign of anyone new coming in to take his place. With 2 apparent mothers at the pond, there may in fact be other kits that have yet to emerge. Time will tell. 
Julia retrieves an aspen branch from shore
2 of the new kits come alongside Julia
Trying desperately to get a bite of Julia's apple

Tippy tries to hold her apple up high and out of reach
Seems to be working for now
One of the kits swims alongside Julia
Security is feeding between the 2 mothers
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Not a milk mustache, but an "apple beard"
Julia and Tippy drag Aspen branches past the resident Canada Goose family
Possible confrontation in the works
The resident Great Blue Heron comes in for a landing
Fishing at the beaver pond
A young Green Heron has also been showing up lately
Lots of wildlife action at this small pond
Mallard ducklings investigate the beaver dam

A young female Belted Kingfisher
A Woodchuck crosses the dam
One of the resident Minks hunts alongside the dam

2 Muskrats beneath the dam are noticeably smaller than the beaver kit (foreground)
A muskrat kit feeds on some of the Aspen leaves

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