Hoping to spot a beaver this International Beaver Day? Here are a few tips and tricks for searching in the Denver area!
Where do beavers like to live?
While beavers live both in and out of water, they greatly prefer to spend their time in the water. The South Platte River and its tributaries are great places to look for beavers!
What are some signs of beavers?
When looking for beavers, you’ll want to keep an eye out for some of the many markings they leave behind. A few of the most common ones to see are:
Beaver Chew: Beavers chew trees for food as well as to construct their dams and lodges. Beaver chew is one of the easiest ways to see if there’s a beaver around. Look for rough teeth marks in trees or stumps to figure out if a beaver has been nearby. Another way to tell is to look for beaver fences and beaver paint. Humans can prevent beavers from chomping down trees by erecting a short fence or by painting a mixture of mud and sand around the trunk of a tree.
Tracks: Beavers have two distinct sets of tracks: their hind tracks are 6-7 inches long and show webbed toes whereas the front tracks are 2-3 inches long and show claw marks. When searching for beaver tracks, beware! A beaver dragging its tail can often disturb the tracks it leaves behind.
Scat: Look for beaver scat on the water's edge. It tends to be small, cylindrical, and about 1.5- to 2.5-inches long. Due to a beaver’s diet, dry scat should also have a sawdust-like appearance when you break it apart.
Dams/Lodges: Beavers are some of nature’s most iconic engineers. Beavers build dams to slow or stop moving water so they can build their homes. Their homes (called lodges) are intricate structures that, from the outside, can simply look like a large pile of sticks. Keep an eye out in our waterways for these amazing structures!
When can I see a beaver?
Beavers are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Your best chance at seeing a beaver is to scope out a spot where you have found signs of a beaver and come very early in the morning or just when the sun is setting. Who knows, you may even spot Chompers!