Friday, March 30, 2007

Dam City Beavers!

While visiting Mississippi River Regional Park in Minneapolis last weekend we notice lots of evidence of the work of beavers. Beavers are known to be industrious, but do these guys think they're going to dam the MISSISSIPPI RIVER?

Some of the damaged trees like the one above were huge. Art noticed that several of the trees on the heron colony island were girdled. I assume that even if the beavers don't take those trees down, they will die. Will herons nest in dead trees? Will the trees' death affect the stability of the island? I'll need to ask the park naturalist the next time I visit.

This area is only minutes from downtown Minneapolis, lots of noise and traffic. But beavers are here and the Great Blue Herons have returned to nest and raise their young. Regardless of how we've encroached on their habitat, they still choose to be here. Their instincts to survive and reproduce sometimes amaze me.

Please click on this duck to enlarge the picture. It's not a perfect photograph, but it' s one of the sharpest I've ever taken. He followed me along the river's edge, begging to be photographed. Isn't he a gorgeous mallard? He thinks so too.
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13 comments:

Larry said...

Ouch--that picture is so sharp that I cut myself just looking at it-good job!-I don't know much about beavers but I know that in some cases they improve habitat for water birds by damming up certain areas.-In the case of the Herons, it might be a problem.

NatureWoman said...

LOL Lynne - " do these guys think they're going to dam the MISSISSIPPI RIVER?" Looks like they're trying their best! Love the mallard photo - very nice, down to the beaded water.

Cathy said...

Oh My Gosh! That was worth the 'click'. What a gorgeous photo.
You cracked me up with the comment about damming the Mississippi.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Those dam foolish beavers! Great mallard shot!

LauraHinNJ said...

That's one to frame, Lynne! Beautiful details.

I don't know the first thing about beavers - do they chew up trees like that just to down them? What do they eat?

So many questions...

Deb said...

Those ambitious beavers...

They try wherever they can, and with smaller streams they succeed. Which doesn't bode well for the brook trout, which is what I try to manage...:)

Nice mallard!

Susan Gets Native said...

Definitely worth the click! What a pretty guy!
Darn beavers.

pablo said...

The beavers may be going after those big trees as a way to hone down their ever-growing front teeth. But more likely, they are trying to get the tips of the top branches down to ground level where they can eat the buds that are starting to come out.

pablo
www.roundrockjournal.com

Mary said...

Lynne - Oh, boy! That's the best photo of a Mallard I've seen with his feet paddling under. You have to give beavers credit for trying. But I don't think they'll dam the Mississippi! LOL!

Jayne said...

BEauTIful duck pic!! Funny, funny beavers... persistant workers, they are!

LauraO said...

Fantastic mallard photo.

Beavers create some of the best wildlife habitat there is. I doubt they're trying to dam the river - more likely finding lodge-building materials and food sources.

And if they are thinking of damming the Mississippi, be thankful it's beavers and not the Army Corps of Engineers...

mon@rch said...

Those beaver can really do all kinds of damage to the neighboring trees!

Chris said...

Hi! Really enjoyed looking at your blog and pics. I had no idea that beavers could be so destructive!