When the beaver dam first appeared, one of our neighbors said that if we knocked a hole in it and waited, we’d soon see some beavers. We had the patience to try that—once. Then we came up with the idea of using the game camera to find out when they were active, and what they were up to. It took a couple weeks of experimentation to figure out where to put the automated camera and how to use it. Our initial results came up with just about everything but a beaver, including the surprising appearance of a bobcat. The stills from the game camera confirmed that our beaver were entirely nocturnal, so we decided to set the camera in video mode and enjoy the beavers from the comfort of indoors.
This short video contains the best of several weeks worth of observation. Over that period of time, the dam became at least a foot taller, and probably several feet wider, creating a pool that was at least 4 feet deep in places. The beaver pond became a popular hangout for wood ducks, a heron, and served as a bridge for squirrels, chipmunks, and at least one very fat raccoon. The dam also was totally incompatible with local agriculture, blocking the drainage from several hundred acres of farmland. The dam would have to come down, and last Friday, it did. However, the beaver are still at work, now on a new dam, and I’ve reset the game camera to see what they do.