Thursday 13 November 2014

Muskrats in the frog pond

Oct. 2014
They are still busy as beavers. I'm beginning to wonder if they are making these big piles of much to deepen the pond. What do you think, Keith?
There are 3 muskrats, at least I've seen 3 at one time, there could be more.

They have built 5 of these big piles of muck, and they are all about the same height. They are definitely making the pond deeper. I can see where they've eaten the bulrushes and pond weeds.

There are 5 of these piles!
still green

Here are some archival photos of the frog pond. I suppose I'm going to have to rename it the Muskrat Pond! We need names for the muskrats, too.

April, 2013
Dec. 2013
They've eaten all of these grasses

Summer with duck weed
April 2014
It's now open and deeper!


DeniseinVA said...

I didn't realize muskrats could alter water levels also. Where we go for a walk the beavers have changed the landscape a lot. Busy little things aren't they? Those mud piles are interesting too. Enjoyed your photos and enjoyed the read.

Judy said...

Wonder what they will do, come spring...

Hilary said...

Very cool to have your own local muskrat. We noticed one in the bay here for about a week last November after the lake began to freeze. We've not seen him since.

It looks like he's building a lodge or several:
"A muskrat builds a lodge by first heaping plant material and mud to form a mound. A burrow is then dug into the mound from below the water level, and a chamber is fashioned at the core of the mound. Later, the walls of the lodge are reinforced from the outside with more plants and mud. A simple lodge of this type is about 0.5 to 1 m high and 0.5 to 1 m in diameter. It contains only one chamber and has one or two plunge holes, or exit burrows. More complex lodges, containing several separate chambers and plunge holes, may be up to 1.5 m high and 1.8 m in diameter."

I got that from the Hinterland page. Can't you just hear the flute music in your head? ;)

William Kendall said...

They certainly have been productive!

Red said...

I would think that they dig channels on the pond bottom. They may have a tunnel built into the bank. The tunnel will start out under the water. If your pond ever dries up you might see this stuff. The deepened channels will allow them to travel from lodge to lodge even if the water level gets low.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
ahhhh..... I was wondering along the lines that Hilary has answered! When you mentioned beavers it set my cogs whirring about could this be nesting type behaviour and it would seem it could be. Next question is - is this mummy daddy and baby, or the fellow got two gals in tow???

Milly, Molly and Mick Rat of the Perth Pond Pilers!!! YAM xx