Geese vs Beavers

This is the time of year when the resident birds start to defend territories and look for nesting sites.  Cardinals and tufted titmice are already singing in the woods.  There are a pair of Canada geese who have nested on the small island in Crossroads Pond every year for the past few years.  This year they are back and I observed them honking and defending their island territory from other geese on the pond two days ago.   However, since last year, beaver activity plus a lot of rain has raised the pond level significantly.  Their island square footage has diminished considerably compared to a year ago.


Last year, the island was about twice the current diameter.  The small willow tree on the left, which the beavers have subsequently cut down, was on dry land.   It looks like there may still be barely enough room for a nest, so we will have to see how they fare in the coming weeks.  In my previous post, I had suggested that the beavers couldn’t raise the pond level, but have been informed this isn’t correct.  The beavers have blocked the pond’s normal outlet, which did subsequently raise the water level.  The overflow is now spilling out onto Creek Road, as anyone who has walked by will have noticed.  However, there doesn’t appear to be any room for the pond to rise further, so the island shouldn’t get any smaller.

I showed a picture in December of three trees the beavers had been cutting.  As predicted, the center tree has since fallen.


Interestingly, they seem to have abandoned work on the other two trees.  Whether this is due to the arrival of winter, or is simply the capricious nature of beaver forestry, I don’t know.  Since then, the trust has put wire cages around a number of other larger trees in the immediate vicinity of the pond to protect them.  We may have to wait until spring to see if the beavers complete the job of felling the other two trees.


From my reading, beavers may travel up to 100 yards to cut trees.  There are still smaller saplings in the vicinity of the pond without cages.  So, we’ll have to wait to see how this all affects future beaver logging activity.

Click here to leave a comment