If you eat a beaver that was killed in the spring, you will most likely be dealing with an animal that has burned much of its fat over the winter. Beavers do not hibernate in winter, so they need to have food available, but most living plants are dormant, trees are not moving sap through their bark, and frankly snow cover makes it difficult for beavers to move around. Weasels, raccoons, and herons hunt frogs and other prey along the marshy edges of beaver ponds. After the beaver has had all Summer to eat and pack on some weight. Beavers mainly eat leaves, twigs, and the inner bark of aspen trees, cottonwood, alder, birch, willow, and a variety of other deciduous trees. Do Beavers Eat Wood You might be surprised to believe it, but the beaver doesn’t consistently live on tree bark. If food is scarce, beavers may also eat coniferous trees like pine and fir. Some animal species strictly consume plant matter, some are big meat eaters and others dine on a healthy mix of both. Beaver dams create habitat for many other animals and plants of Washington. They do not use it to carry mud. Beavers are large rodents that definitely enjoy vegetation -- … The beaver’s most distinctive feature is their large flat tail, which serves as a rudder when swimming, a prop when sitting or standing upright, and a storehouse of fat for the winter. Beavers usually do not hibernate, but store sticks and logs inside a pile in their ponds, consuming the underbark. Preparing for winter Sure, they are constantly utilizing tree bark to build dams and homes for themselves, which means they likely have a ready supply at hand, but this isn’t the only thing that they’ll consume. While other wildlife endure wintertime cold and hunger, beavers stay warm in their lodges with an underwater food cache of branches nearby. Beavers are known for their gnawing on trees, they tend to strip the bark and eat the green fresh bark underneath, as well as stripping branches and leaves too. Weasels, raccoons, and herons hunt frogs and other prey along the marshy edges of beaver ponds. Beavers will also slap their tail on the surface of the water as a danger warning to other beavers or sometimes in play. Beavers dams create habitat for many other animals and plants of Washington. Adults often retrieve sticks from the food cache and bring them into the lodge for the young to eat. In winter, deer and elk frequent beaver ponds to forage on shrubby plants that grow where beavers cut down trees for food or use to make their dams and lodges. So, the beaver has an interesting solution, although it may not seem that novel to us—it stores food for the winter. It’s much better to get a beaver in the fall. The beaver (Castor canadensis) is a keystone species that affects habitat structure and dynamics through the damming and diverting of streams, and the felling of trees and other woody vegetation.The resulting ponds and flooding help create an environment favorable to willow and aspen, the beavers’ preferred winter foods and used in building their lodges. According to beaver biologist Leonard Lee Rue, a beaver colony needs to store between 1,500 and 2,500 pounds of edible bark, twigs and leaves (this weight doesn’t include the wood, as they don’t eat wood) if it is to sustain them through the winter. To do this, they need to eat a lot. Beavers sometimes eat ferns, grasses, aquatic plants, shrubs, and human crops like corn and beans. Often they’ll use the remainder of the tree as part of their dam activities. So, what do beavers eat? What Do Beavers Eat Fundamentally beavers are herbivores and they prefer to eat cottonwood, willow, birch maple, quaking aspen, alder, and cherry trees. 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