Castor canadensis

Did you know that April 7th is International Beaver Day?  Yes, we have an entire day to celebrate the joy and wonder of the Castor canadensis, the North American beaver, and the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber).

Beavers are known for many things.  For example, they transform their surroundings building dams to create pools of water.  These dams typically are 32 feet to 100 feet long, although one dam was measured to be over 2800 feet long.  These dams create ponds of water behind them.  And in these ponds beavers will often build a home called a lodge, with entrances below water, and a roof above water, creating a nice, homey, dry space on the inside.

Beavers originally populated the Quad-City area, and can still be seen today in our area.  One day last summer as I was walking on Sylvan Island I encountered a beaver running along the levee.  He was faster than I was, but I followed his path and found his lodge built in the river abutting the levee.  I looked and looked for any sign of him, but he was gone.  Probably, inside his lodge, I thought.  As I walked on I did notice the stumps of trees that he had created, pointing skyward.

Interested in learning more about beavers?  Then check out these titles:

Beavers:  radical rodents and ecosystem engineers / by Frances Backhouse.

Beavers / by Wil Mara.

Beavers / by Elizabeth O’Sullivan.

Awesome animal builders [videorecording] / National Geographic ; Robert Goldberg, producer and writer.

 Beavers / by Aaron Frisch.

 Here are some beaver fun facts to impress your friends with:

  • Beavers are the largest rodents in North America, averaging 40+ pounds.
  • Beavers are primarily nocturnal.
  • Beavers’ teeth are orange.
  • There are an estimated six million+ beavers in North America.
  • When they sense danger, beavers slap their tails on the water.
  • Beavers live about 10+ years in the wild.
  • Baby beavers are called kits.

Wishing you a happy International Beaver Day!