Reproduction: Usually 2-4 kits are born in the spring or early summer. When the kits are born they are well furred with their eyes open. Young can take to the water soon after birth and are skilled swimmers within a week or two. The kits remain with their parents for the first two years of their lives.
Diet: Leaves, buds, bark, aquatic vegetation
Although beavers will spend time on land, they are most at home in the water. Their body is well adapted to water living with webbed feet, a strong, flat tail which acts as a rudder, nostrils that can close, valves to close off its ears, a clear membrane to protect its eyes and even skin flaps to seal its mouth while leaving the front teeth exposed for chewing. Beavers can stay submerged for up to 15 minutes.
The wetlands that are created as a result of the dams beavers build are vital for countless species, including many at risk species. These wetlands also help us by preventing erosion and filtering toxins and excess nutrients from the water.
Another aquatic rodent found in Ottawa is the muskrat. These small mammals weigh approximately 2-3 lbs and have a long, furless tail, and can be found near most marshes and water sources around the city.
While there is a substantial size difference between the muskrat and the beaver, the latter, which can weigh in the range of 30- 50 lbs, sometimes people can get the two confused. A reason why may be that when swimming their sizes can be deceiving. A large portion of the muskrat’s small body is visible while usually only the head of the beaver’s large body is seen when swimming. So while on land you would never confuse the two, at a distance, when swimming, it can be a little trickier.