I’m still enjoying watching the beaver family from our deck overlooking the Alsea River.
The most I’ve seen at one time is 4. I believe that’s all there is in this family. I’ve been reading up on beaver behavior:
Beavers have from 1 to 6 kits per pregnancy; one pregnancy per year. The more food that is available, the more kits she’ll have.
The young stay with the parents for 2 years, then they go off to find a mate and establish their own territory.
They will not overpopulate an area because they will chase others away from theirs.
They store the branches underwater. This part of the river is out of the main flow of current. But the level is affected by the tide.
Somehow they are anchoring the branches so they don’t float away when the water gets high. They are pretty good engineers!
Beavers mate for life. I’ve noticed a consistent behavior over the last weeks that I’m going to speculate on (so feel free to comment if you speculate, or know, differently).
As soon as it gets light enough for me to see them out my window, I am watching them. The four feed independently. At one point, seeming to be associated with how light it is, 3 beavers swim away. Sometimes one signals with a splash. But one always stays longer than the others. Sometimes one comes back to feed some more. I’m guessing the largest one is the female. She’s probably pregnant and needs more to eat. With all this food, maybe she’ll have 6 kits?
I think Dad puts the kids to bed so Mom can finish eating. If they are good little kitties and go right to sleep, he comes back out for some alone-time with Mom.
I’m guessing on their size: from nose to tip of the tail, she might be 4 feet?
This branch is probably 3 – 3.5 feet and 1.5″ – 2″ in diameter?