Animals in Winter: Beaver

The beaver is one of Vermont’s busiest animals, so it’s not surprising that they don’t hibernate during the winter. The beaver is well-adapted to survive in water, with webbed toes on their hind feet and a tail that acts as both a rudder and a way to control their body temperature.

Like the snowshoe hare, their young, called “kits”, are born fully furred and begin venturing outside on their own at about two weeks old. During the fall, beavers begin preparing for winter by cutting trees and constructing their dams and lodges. In the winter, beavers eat a woody diet of bark from trees like poplar, alder, willow, and cherry. 

They construct their lodges from mud, stones, sticks, and branches and store their food supply in a large underwater pile within the lodge. It takes one ton of bark to feed a family of eight beavers for a winter. 

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