What Do Animals Eat? Everything From Ants To Zebras

What Do Beavers Eat?

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The third largest rodent in the world and the largest in North America, the beaver is semi-aquatic, with its large, paddle-shaped tail and webbed hind feet. They are always moving around doing some task, thus the saying, “busy as a beaver”.

How do beavers spend their time?Beavers spend a large proportion of their time gathering woods and sticks to built and repair their lodge as well as looking for food.

About beavers

They can weigh from 45 to 78 lbs. and have unweighted, smaller front paws that have nasty claws. You really don’t want to get too close to the beaver at any time. The beaver’s eyes are able to see underwater because of a nictitating membrane, which covers the eyes completely. It is also insulated by a thick coat of fat under the skin, allowing it to swim in cold waters.

Beaver's lodgeA beaver’s lodge is very important for their survival. A typical beaver’s lodge has 2 chambers, one for eating and another for nesting. It keeps predators away and is cozy, especially in winter.

Their habitat

They live in lodges, which are sometimes burrowed into river banks, or houses of twigs, sticks, and blobs of mud, in streams, or close to the land. They are surrounded by dams, which they make to ensure that they have enough deep water all around the lodge so it will not freeze in the cold weather. This deep water works as an insulating factor.

What do they eat?

This water creature, a herbivore, eats the inner bark, leaves and buds of live trees. They have a preference for the leaves of the poplar and aspen trees, but on occasion will eat the leaves of maple, birch, alder, beech, ash, pine and spruce trees. This gives them a varied diet.

Other vegetation

They are also known to eat water lilies, coattails and other vegetation that they might find in or around the water. They are not fish eaters, and will store tree branches under the lodge for use in winter if other food is frozen. They are an intelligent species and are quick to camouflage their lodges.

Beavers and water

Beavers roam at night and while they are very good swimmers, they remain in the water because they are more prone to attacks on land. The water protects them. In fact, they are able to stay under the water for as long as a quarter of an hour. The water covers them from predators, and they will smack their flat tail on the water to signal the approach of danger. They also use the tail for storing fat.

Beavers are amazing!

Their dams also flood the surrounding forest, which then gives them ready access to the food they want and need. Those tasty leaves and bark from their favorite trees. Don’t worry about the beaver surviving in the cold weather as he has many tricks up his paw that he can call upon according to the climate. And he always stores enough food to get him through hard times.

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11 Comments on What Do Beavers Eat?
  1. gisselle:

    do beavers eat bark off trees or sticks?

  2. admin:

    Hi Gisselle,

    You only get barks of off trees. Sticks are to small and thin to have barks on them.

  3. Selena:

    If beavers weren’t herbivores what would they eat?

  4. admin:

    Hi Selena,

    I don’t know how to answer that question. My guess would be insects.

  5. Jerry:


    I was just wondering how my wife Susan and I would go about owning an actual beaver, like as a pet? Are there beaver rentals? We would like to try the merchandise before we make a lifetime commitment.

    Please let me know.

    Thank you!

  6. admin:

    Hi Jerry,

    You want to get a pet beaver? I have never heard of people keeping a beaver, at least not yet. I’m not sure you can keep them due to their natural behavior of building and fixing their dams. Plus these animals are territorial and need a large playground with lots of water and dead wood.

  7. Vickie:

    Is it safe for people to play in a river that has beavers in it?
    What can you do to get rid of them?

  8. Paula:

    We live on a small lake & Beavers are starting to take it over! What can we do to get rid of them without shooting them because DNR will not help us?

  9. Jonas:

    Hi. What is a lifespan of a beaver? How many babies does a beaver bear at a time, how often and how many times in a lifetime of an ordinary beaver?

  10. gunnar:

    to get rid of a beaver: put out assorted vibrators and eventually the beaver will get tired of gorging its self and move on.

  11. Bernard Kornell:

    Can beavers really digest bark or do they have bacteria in their gut that convert cellulose to another substance like most other mammals and insects do? Thank you, BDK

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