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Beaver Ponds

Industrious Beavers Create
Wonderful Wetlands

Few wild animas affect the land and
its life mroe than the beaver. Dams
built by these master engineers can
flood hundreds of acres. The resulting
wetlands and ponds provide valuable
numerous plants, aquatic
insects, fish and wildlife.

Beavers work mostly at night but sign
of their presence is clear: chewed
trees, limbs stripped of bark, pathways
to the pond, their lodge and the dam
itself. Please avoid disturbing these
industrious builders and other wetland
residents. View and photograph
them from a distance.

Standing motionless in shallow water, the
great blue heron is a patient hunter. When
small fish, frogs, crayfish or insects swim
within striking distance, it strikes quickly
with its dagge-like bill.

Twilight is the best time to watch for
moose wading in beaver ponds, feeding on
aquatic plants. In winter, moose shift their
diet to woody plants and move into the
shelter of forests.

Within the safety of the lodge, beavers
raise their young and escape predators.

The Barrow's goldeneye nests in tree
cavities close to lakes and ponds with
abundant aquatic plants.

Beavers build canals to carry food and
construction materials from the forest
back to the pond. A pair of these busy
beavers can build a 2-foot-high,
12-foot-long dam in two nights.

The osprey feeds almost entirely
on fish. Hovering above the water
until a fish is sighted, it then
plunges into the water to grasp
a fish with its talons.

Watchable wildlife area
Gallatin National Forest
Montana Department
of Transport

Don't miss the rest of our virtual tour of Gallatin County in 1082 images.