Beaver Lodge – What Do You Know About Them?

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Beaver lodge in the Rocky Mountains during spring.

The other day was a nice spring day in the Rocky Mountains and I came across a few beaver lodges on a walk. Here are some fun facts about beaver lodges.

Animals live in the Rocky Mountains live everywhere.  People live in nice warm and cozy homes made of bricks or wood. Other animals live underground, in caves, or in nests in trees. One kind of animal lives in what may look to the casual observer like a big pile of sticks and mud. That inconspicuous looking pile is in fact the home of beavers and is called a beaver lodge.  Here are some fun facts about beaver lodges that you may not know.

What Is A Beaver Lodge?

A beaver lodge is the home of a family of beavers that looks like a large mound of sticks and mud. It is located in the middle of a small pond. A lodge may be quite large and is very visible from a distance, especially if it is sitting in the middle of a small pond. It may be as tall as ten feet and as wide as 15 – 20 feet.

Most have two main rooms inside – one near the entrance that is used for eating and drying off and another used for sleeping and raising the young.

beaver lodge

Photo via Flickr.

How Do Beavers Build a Lodge?

Beavers will begin by sticking some foundation sticks into the mud.  Then they will begin piling up sticks, mud, leaves, and anything else they can find.  After they have created the big mound they will then go underwater and chew away the entrance tunnels and rooms inside the lodge.

How Do Beavers Enter The Lodge?

There are underwater entrances to the lodge that the beavers must swim into. Each lodge will have at least two access tunnels that are underwater.

Do All Beavers Live In Lodges?

No. Some beavers may live by a river where the water is too fast moving for them to construct their usual lodge. In these cases the beavers will build a den that is built into the bank of a fast moving river.

How Many Beavers Live In A Lodge?

A lodge is usually only the home of one family unit of beavers. The family generally consists of the parents, the new babies, and maybe the previous years young. In total there may be up to 18 beavers living in a large lodge, but the average is 4-8.

beaver lodge

Most lodges are located in a small pond that the beavers create by building dams.

Beavers Are Active All Winter Inside Their Lodge

During the cold, snowy winters of the Rocky Mountains the beavers are not hibernating. Rather they are still active inside their warm lodge. The walls of the lodge help insulate the inside and keep it much warmer than the outside temperature.  The top of the lodge has a hole in the center where if you look closely you can see air rising during winter.

How Long Will Beavers Use The Lodge?

A lodge is used by beavers year after year. Just like people do with their house, beavers have to do maintenance work on the lodge to ensure that their home stays a nice place to live.