Tired of Chain ‘O Lakes birding posts yet? Fine, let’s shake it up a bit and feature something different, something unlike the other recent posts. Today I bring you a post from the birding outing that my brother Ron and I took at Chain ‘O Lakes. Ummm, maybe that doesn’t completely fit the definition of different. Yes, it is another post from the Chain, but this time it isn’t about a bird. Nope, today’s featured subject happens to be an animal I’ve never seen in the wild before.
Now I’ve seen a lot of Muskrats in my day and one might think those are Beavers if they have never seen one before. They live in a similar environment and kind of look alike from a brown furry animal that swims in the water perspective but to be honest, you can tell the difference pretty quickly in the field. First off, the Muskrat has a skinny “rat” tail compared to the paddle the Beaver sports. Although relative sizes are tough to judge when you don’t have both animals close by, the swimming rat is significantly smaller than the Beaver. I didn’t realize exactly how much until Ron and I stumbled on this one swimming in a remote part of the Fox River that cuts through the Chain O’ Lakes park. Quite surprisingly, it could care less that we were even there – some of that may be the fact there was another one – possibly the mate – that was cruising through the water ahead of it – note, I have NO idea how to tell the sexes apart based on the angles we had. None of them ever made it onto land so these are the best looks you are going to get. I can bring you in closer though!
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of this Beaver