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North American Beaver

Castor canadensis


Beavers are mainly active at night. They are excellent swimmers and may remain submerged for up to 15 minutes. More vulnerable on land, they tend to remain in the water as much as possible. They use their flat, scaly tail both to signal danger by slapping the surface of the water and as a location for fat storage.


Thank God I got a great opportunity to photograph an entire beaver family in California. I didn't originally know we had any left, thinking they were all hunted to extinction in California. Living in a canal at the edge of Martinez and popular with the town's people, I watched them at the edge of a bank floating by me at sunset. Somewhat thankfully their eyesight is terrible and didn't realize I was there at first. One of the juveniles actually came up to me and sniffed my boot, which was awe-striking, but realizing quickly this is bad, we then had to haze it by scaring it off with yells, shouts, and loud hand claps. This kind of behavior signals human imprinting; as I was informed; the homeless like to feed them at night time. Feeding animals makes them more susceptive to human attack, abuse, or poaching. Please don't feed wild animals. The first picture is the Father and the rest are the 2 out of 3 kits they have.

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Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Thanks Tic :)

TicThapanya 8 years ago

beautiful shot

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Thank you Maria :)

Maria dB
Maria dB 8 years ago

Great series and information! I especially like the third photo.

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Thank you Mona :) Really appreciate it.

Mona Pirih
Mona Pirih 8 years ago

Very cool !! :) I love this series :)

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Thank you Karen! :)

KarenL 8 years ago

Fun fact! Although ungainly on land, the beaver is perfectly adapted for its aquatic lifestyle, with a paddle-shaped tail that it uses as a rudder, large webbed rear feet that act like swimming fins, transparent eyelids that function like goggles, and a naturally waterproof coat. These attributes allow beavers to swim at speeds of up to five miles an hour, and remain underwater for 15 minutes without surfacing.

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Thank you surkha, RiekoS, and Larry! Appreciate it :)

LarryGraziano 8 years ago

Great series Josh!

RiekoS 8 years ago


surekha 8 years ago

Lovely series :)

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Thank you Alice and Carol for the great comments! Appreciate it. Carol you crazy girl ;p

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 8 years ago

I LOVE SO SO MUCH!!!! A beaver is one of my favorite mammals. Don't ask me why. HA!

alicelongmartin 8 years ago

Like the whole series, but no. 4 is my favorite!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

Thank you JasmineJ, Jemma, and Marta :) Marta, if you wait there long enough and then big ripples in the water before you see anything else, it could very well be a beaver coming out of its den. Just from the one I've seen, they built their dens directly into the side of a river bank.

misako 8 years ago

wonderful series :)

The MnMs
The MnMs 8 years ago

Precious spotting! We have beavers in our area but so far we only see their dens and trails. I would love to see them one day!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 8 years ago

Maybe Alhambrha creek.

JasmineJ 8 years ago

Wow! I hope I will get to see them in the wild as well at some stage. Thank you for the detailed description.

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 8 years ago

I don't think so but I also don't know Martinez very well. The canal they live in is in a very small park next to a big bus and train stop.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 8 years ago

is this the martinez marina?

Josh Asel
Spotted by
Josh Asel

California, USA

Spotted on Aug 16, 2013
Submitted on Aug 28, 2013

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