Dr Lynn Rogers (black bear researcher in Ely, Minnesota) once had a camera in a beaver lodge and was able to see muskrats and mink living together peacefully. A female can have up to three litters a year. A beaver lodge's its home. Most lodge construction occurs in May and early June, and again in October. A beaver dam slows the water down. Muskrats do not create underwater food caches of branches, but they do construct feeding shelters that are called push-ups. Lodges are better suited to slower moving ponds or lakes, and are built using the same material and techniques as dams. They seem to be getting along just fine, avoiding the fox who creeps about.

Both species have small rounded ears that are visible while swimming. As you can see, the beaver has larger, more prominent ears than the muskrat… I have grown especially fond of setting traps at the lodges for otters. Now you see it, now you don’t: something brown in or near the water, hopping, swimming, or doing something else that catches your eye. Muskrats and beaver are the only mammals that build their home in the water, but the muskrat lodge is smaller.

In addition, muskrats and beavers build their dens in water, often coexisting in the same lodge. While I have seen them try to drive otters away from a lodge, I have also seen them share it with otters,too. Listen here as I discuss what to look for and how to tell the difference in this week’s edition of All Things Natural with Ed Kanze. Now, I was nearly trembling. They move too often.

They often dig dens into the bank; again the muskrat opening is smaller. At least until the day one of the mink ate one of the muskrats. We call it the "Gite de Beach" and plan on making a sign to guide others to the hotel. To make matters better, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a young beaver swimming toward me. Muskrats live in family groups and have been shown to be social with beavers, sharing the food stores in the beaver lodge. Beaver dams create deeper ponds of water to allow for underwater entrances to lodges, to move food and building materials, and to help protect from predators. There's a beaver lodge right in front of my cabin. ), so there’s a lot of body trailing in the water. The suspect list includes mink, muskrat, beaver, and otter. This is a dome shaped construction usually about 10 ft. (3 m) high and 19.6 ft. (6 m) wide at the base. They also cause related property damage.

Both animals have roughly similar fur with buff or even reddish-brown areas, but the beaver's is more generally brown. The tail is thinner. The name push-up is descriptive. Muskrats Habit and Habitat The beaver is well adapted to aquatic environments. I don’t remember if the beaver was using the lodge at that time.

And when they are inside, they are not that possessive of their lodges. By building dams, beavers …

Both rodents have water-resistant fur in shades of brown. Muskrat lodges resemble beaver lodges, but are usually much smaller (up to eight feet high, and four feet wide) and are made of vegetation, not sticks, like beaver lodges. Each litter can have as many as eight babies. While beavers use tree branches to build their winter home, muskrats are cattail specialists. A large lodge can be as much as 16 ft. (5 m) high and 39.4 ft. (12 m) wide at the base. A beaver lodge. Dens may be dug in the banks or a small house, resembling a smaller version of the beaver lodge, is built from vegetation such as cattails, rushes and small branches. Nutria, muskrats, mink, and otters will use the lodges as a place to get out of the water and groom or mark territory. As befits the smaller size of its resident, the lodge is quite a bit less ambitious than that of a beaver, but still represents a substantial mound of materials. Beaver lodges are built in the protected ponds that form after the beavers have built a dam.

A muskrat lodge would only support the weight of a nesting goose, while a winter-hardened beaver lodge easily supports the weight of a coyote, or intruding human. Muskrats do not build dams to create ponds as beavers do. The photo on the left is a muskrat; the one on the right is an otter Either animal may also make a home by digging into a stream bank. I missed getting a good shot of a muskrat that swam by, but I spotted something in the reeds across from me. The other thing to look at is the ears. However, muskrat lodges are smaller than beaver lodges, and they’re mostly made of plants like cattails, whereas beaver lodges are full of large sticks and logs. Like a duck, its webbed hind feet help propel this streamlined mammal through the water. Beavers and muskrats are semiaquatic animals that share a number of similarities which make it hard for many people to tell them apart.