Thursday, June 10, 2021

Spying on Muskrats


I was very excited to have the opportunity of watching our resident muskrat bring vegetation to its nest in our cove from a close vantage point. I have a glider bench reasonably close to the water's edge, and the pair have been swimming back and forth from there, diving right under the twigs and branches collected previously by a beaver.

I was intrigued to see that it also gathered floating milfoil fragments that were near the nest, and took them inside, too. I had previously only watched it harvest grass from my shoreline.

That brown 'log' is a muskrat with milfoil in front of its mouth

A few days prior, I had got really close by standing behind a tree where they harvest the grass. It had no idea I was there, but my pics of it were obscured by moving grass tufts.

 The dark brown blob with coarse hair and tail laying on the leaves is a muskrat

And the latest activity they've been up to, is swimming up to a stand of pickerelweed, and then diving down and gnawing one off (you can see the selected plant quivering at the surface as they work). They then resurface and swim back to their nest with it, one stalk at a time.


Shelley Burbank said...

So cool!

Wendy said...