If you’ve ever observed beavers out in nature, you’ll know that they’re much bigger than the average rodent. If smaller rodents have to consume lots of food, you’ve probably been left thinking about how much beavers eat every day. What do beavers eat?
Beavers are herbivores and primarily consume plant-based food sources. Beaver’s staples are leaves, tree bark, and aquatic plant species. Beavers, unlike other rodents, aren’t picky eaters and don’t consume meat. However, in food shortages, beavers can consume vegetables, fruits, grasses, fungi, and grains.
You might be shocked to learn that despite living near the waters, they don’t consume many pond creatures. In reality, their diet is very specific. So how can such huge rodents eat the strictest diet?
This guide will guide you through all you need to learn about the diet of the beaver. It will explain what they eat and the specific food habits they use.
What do beavers love to have for dinner?
Beavers are herbivores that live solely on aquatic and woody plants. They eat fresh stems, leaves, twigs, and the inside bark of trees.
Beavers can eat any tree but are particularly fond of certain species, including willow, alder, and cottonwood. They also like birch, poplar aspen, maple, and trees. Beavers also eat apples, grass, water lilies, grass and clover, giant ragweed cattails, watercress, and a lot more. It is believed that beavers eat fish because, after all, beavers spend a significant amount of time submerged in the rivers, but this will remain an illusion as the beavers are herbivores. Beavers eat woody trees, such as poplar aspen trees, willow water lilies, and birch, the bark of a hardy tree.
Beaver is also fond of eating beans, roots, and shrubs, and, with their sharp teeth in the wild, they favor the bark inside of a tree and its roots based on the season. The diet of the beaver depends on the time of year. In the fall and spring months, they eat soft and woody plants. In summer, the majority of the plant they consume is soft. In winter, when the growth of plants is slow, beavers consume woody food. Beavers are a unique species of microorganisms in their stomachs that help them digest a large portion of their food. Beavers consume a nutritious mixture of both. Beavers are a great model for those who consume exclusively plants which is why they are considered herbivores. Beavers, who are massive rodents, love vegetation like the twigs and leaves, bark, and aquatic plants. It changes with the season’s changes. The woody plants, usually the bark of trees, are the most sought-after by beavers cambium.
Do Beavers Eat Meat?
Beavers don’t consume meat. They don’t consume any animal-derived or fish-based food items either. Instead, beavers are vegetarians who eat water plants, vegetation branches, and twigs according to the season. The popular belief that beavers are meat eaters is likely related to their physical resemblances to groundhogs and otters.
Some may think that beavers eat meat since rodents are among them.
While most rodents are vegetarians, the most popular ones are omnivores. They eat meat and animal-derived food items such as eggs and honey.
What are the beavers’ most-loved trees?
As humans also have their preferred food items, so do beavers. They are foragers who have a sense of opportunism. However, they’ll go more when they know their preferred food items are in the area.
The most popular foods for the American beaver include alder aspen, birch, cottonwood, apple, and poplar. They also enjoy the willow and cherry trees.
As you can imagine, this could create issues for humans living nearby, their orchards, and private forests. However, there are many alternatives to keep bears from eating the trees. Installing fences around the bases of the most popular trees is a cost-effective and sustainable method of preventing beavers from eating your orchards.
What are the ways that beavers can eat aquatic plants?
It’s cool to see beavers swim underwater, taking in the plants he discovers down there. They can also stay submerged for so long that it seems like they don’t even require oxygen.
However, beavers aren’t able to breathe underwater. They breathe while searching in the water for aquatic plants and other materials to build lodges and dams. Beavers have to surface within 15 minutes to take another breath before diving back in again.
With clear membranes covering the eyes of beavers, they can be very visible underwater. They also have nostrils and ear canals that can completely shut. These characteristics help them find food near the bottom of lakes, ponds, and streams.
They aren’t typically eating aquatic plants, but. Instead, they prefer to take their food back home. This is especially true when they have children waiting at the lodge to eat their dinner.
Do beavers eat fruits?
Beavers are fond of apples and other fruits; however, they are difficult to locate unless it’s the perfect time of year. Although they’ve been observed eating blackberry canes as well as other plants that support wetland habitats, however, they are having a harder to locating other varieties of plant-based food sources.
If food is plentiful, they can have a greater selection of food items. This is when beavers eat fruit and berries. When they’re in a less crowded environment like winter, they’ll consume whatever they can get their hands on or dip into their treasures.
North American Beaver Diet
- The aquatic plants include water lilies, watercress, and even water lilies.
- Willow Aspen tree alder, maple apple tree, cottonwood cherry tree, poplar woody stems
- When required
- Leaves, inner bark, vines
- Giant ragweeds, cattails, grasses and ferns, apple, canes of blackberry, and clover when dominating in the surroundings
- Sagebrush is a good choice when the other vegetation is infrequent.
Eurasian Beaver Diet
- Myrtles as well as water lilies and cattails tubers, as well as rootstocks
- Lime trees, birch, willows, black poplars, hazels, and aspen trees” twigs
- Leaves buds, leaves, and shoots
- Roots and soft bark
- The blackberry plant, the pondweed plantain, wild fennel, and even mushrooms
- The crops include beans and corn in the event of a need.
Due to the specific microorganisms in their rectums, beavers have the unique capability to break down cellulose. Although other mammals cannot break down this nutrient in any way, They can consume approximately 30% of cellulose. Therefore, other plants help maintain their energy needs and keep weight.
They also have the unappealing practice of eating waste. However, it’s an effective method of staying full of nutrients by taking in more from food.
Beavers’ diets can vary based on the season. For example, they consume woody and soft plants in the fall and spring and prefer soft food during the hot summer days.
They’ll take more wood plant parts during the winter. They keep this material in a cache, a dirty floor in their lodges.
Kits (baby beavers) suck their mother’s milk just like other mammals. After about six months, they begin eating solid food made by beavers. Beavers in their early years reside with family members for approximately two years.
Food Avoid To Feed Beavers
As I’ve mentioned, beavers are herbivores and do not eat fish or meat. However, they’ll refuse to eat some plants and also. So let’s look at what animals aren’t fond of eating and why.
Parts of trees – in most instances, beavers do not eat trees after they’ve cut them down. Instead, they eat the tree’s parts, particularly the cambium, the soft bark.
Certain types of deciduous trees: Beavers like deciduous trees but do not eat alder and oak trees. This is because they are only used for construction. So, in some way, rodents are also able to avoid:
- Ninebark bush
- Cascara trees
- Twinberry trees
- Osoberry trees
- Elderberry trees
Fish and meats: Don’t think that beavers will eat meat, fish, or meat products. They tend to be herbivores (strict vegetarians). Therefore, you’ll not see them eat these foods.
Leftovers: Beavers don’t consider themselves creatures of the night and won’t consume leftovers from your dinner. In the trash, they will surely not be their thing.
Beavers are often confused with groundhogs or otters. As a result, many people believe beavers are carnivores or even omnivores. However, they do not consume meat or fish. Instead, they are a strict vegetarian, and their diets comprise various soft plants, aquatic plants, fruit, and berries, along with twigs and tree bark.