Friday, June 12, 2009

Denali - Beaver


Beaver can be found in a number of the lower elevation pond areas in Denali National Park. The fellow above was seen nibbling away on a spruce limb on the ice. They are nocturnal critters, so capturing a photo in the lower 48 usually has to be done at night. Here, since the available light is close to 20 hours or more this time of year, you can capture some photos of them in action with decent light.

An example is the image above, here you see a beaver swimming across the water with plenty of light and tree reflection in the water. This shot was taken around 10:00 PM.

Beaver eat water vegetation and the cambium layer (tissue layer below bark) of trees. They prefer Willow of which there is plenty in the park. In the head shot above you see this guy chewing away. They have poor eyesight, so if you hold still you can get fairly close without disturbing them.

You see see why they float incredibly well with the photo above. I watched this guy groom himself on shore for about 20 minutes.

Blue Skies.






17 comments:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Another extremely interesting post Ken. I learnt something new - that they are nocturnal which I did not know I always assumed they were diurnal. Can I ask another question …..LOL!! That’s dumb ‘cause I am going to ask it anyway. LOL!! Do they store fat for the winter in their tails or do I have the wrong critter here? Excellent shots of these interesting creatures. I am glad I do not have teeth like those. 

Anonymous said...

Nice pics. Seems I am always saying that. :)

Ken Conger Photography said...

Joan, what a great question! In addition to the flat, hairless, tail being a rudder for swimming, providing a warning slap to others, beavers do store some fat in their tail for winter survival. Blue Skies.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Ken. Ah! Much like the cheetahs tail which is used for a rudder too. Without it he could not turn while running. Nature and wildlife is fascinating!! The more I learn, the more I want to know. :) Are there different kinds of beavers? For example you get red squirrels and grey ones, is it the same with beavers? Sorry for all the questios but I like to know these things, I am terribly curious. LOL!! Right now it is passed midnight so I will check back later to see if you have answered.

Juan C. Aguero said...

Good history and good photos
Greetings

The Birdlady said...

I've been away from blogging for a couple of weeks - Just catching up, and I'm sure glad I don't have to pick a favorite! Let's see - it would have to be the grizzly - no, maybe the sheep - no way to pick the best.

fishing guy said...

Ken: what a neat shot of the busy beaver and a neat reflection.

Elaine said...

Beautiful shots!

Ken Conger Photography said...

Joan,
No worries, glad to answer. Only one kind of Beaver in North America. I couldn't agree more, nature is so intriguing. Just for you, my next post will be red squirrels.
Blue Skies,
Ken

Fish Whisperer said...

Ken, great shot and the bird before is superb. What a spectacular place to travel and you are documenting it wonderfully.
Cheers

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks for the info Ken. I am looking forward to seeing the squirrels, they are one of my favorite little critters, I can sit and watch them for ages.:)

Tim Rucci said...

Wow, Ken... beautiful photos and amazing to get them at 10-o'clock at night. It's cool that you can get some photos so late and I guess it allows you to really maximize your photo time. Very interesting and informative post.

Were those images shot around Horseshoe Lake, by any chance?

Willard said...

You've gotten a lot of super photos since my last visit and as always I really enjoyed catching up. Top-notch work!

Twisted Fencepost said...

Great shots, Ken!
I have not seen a beaver in real life, so these close ups were particularly interesting to me.
Thank you!

gidje said...

I also did not realize they were nocturnal critters. That would explain why we never see these litte critters chompin' away at our lake shore trees! they can take down a full grown tree overnight! It's amazing. Very interesting post. And as always, what great series of shots. I continue to enjoy your ventures.

Jose's World said...

When I was in Ushuaia, there is an area nearby where they introduced beavers in the last century with the idea of developing a fur trade.
Interestingly, the beavers down there did not develop such rich pelts as in the north. So now as with all introduced species, they are a big nuisance down there. They are looking for a game specialist to help to get rid of them. What a great opportunity for Denali Ken!

Salty said...

Lovey shots Ken! Denali certainly is being good to you!

I have yet to encounter a beaver while carrying the camera. A number of years ago the lake I fish frequently had an excellent beaver population and could be seen most evening swimming about the shoreline in good light but when trapping restriction were lifted the population was virtually wiped out in one season.