June 17, 2014

Beavers at Lake Louise.... Inconceivable!

We've lived in Lake Louise for over twenty years, and we've never seen a beaver here.  That's still true, but we now know that one visited our home town last week.

Freshly cut cottonwood alongside the Bow River
We were out for a stroll along the Bow River the other day, and found the proof right beside the pedestrian bridge at the train station: a freshly cut cottonwood.  When we poked around in the cottonwood grove nearby, we found another couple of chewed up trees.

It made us wonder about the beaver who had a quick bite in our backyard.  Was it trying to make a home here, or just passing through?  Both options are possible. Beavers can live in riverbanks, without making dams and lodges, but the Lake Louise area is pretty poor habitat.

It's more likely that this was a youngster travelling through.  Juvenile beavers leave their native ponds at the age of two, and can travel anywhere from ten km to 200 km to find a new home.

Bon voyage, Castor canadensis!