Saturday, March 13, 2021

New Film: Beaver Pond Wildlife - Part 2

In "Beaver Pond Wildlife: Part 1 - Early Spring", we began a series of films to document a year's wildlife activity at beaver ponds. Initially, the thought was that a one-hour film would be enough to cover four seasons. But as we spent long days gathering footage over a few years' time, it became apparent that there was going to be more material we wanted to include than could be crammed into a single one-hour film. So, Part 1 covers only early spring. And it has been quite gratifying to see the response: in its first four weeks, it has been viewed on Youtube more than 50,000 times. At that rate, it's on track to quickly be the most popular film we've done. Many positive comments have been posted on Youtube. It's all very encouraging.


Beaver working on dam
Beaver working on dam



So now, we're happy to announce that "Beaver Pond Wildlife: Part 2 - Late Spring" is completed, continuing the chronological flow of wildlife activity. There's so much that could be included in a documentary project about organisms in a pond environment. Not everything can be covered, obviously, and it becomes a challenge to decide what to omit. So we've concentrated on the things that most visitors to a beaver pond have a good chance of seeing for themselves, and some things that aren't so obvious to a casual observer. 

Some of the subjects you can expect to see include nesting birds, such as ospreys, great blue herons, bluejays, yellow warblers, redwing blackbirds, and phoebes; mating northern water snakes and snapping turtles; young beavers dispersing and building a dam; dragonfly larvae emerging; a pileated woodpecker feasting on ants; and much more.

 

Northern Water snakes mating
Northern Water snakes mating

 

Wood duck eats pond lily seeds
Wood duck eats pond lily seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our hope is that more people will become aware of the marvels of life that are accessible for viewing at their local beaver ponds. 

 

Snapping Turtles mating
Snapping Turtles mating


 

You can view these beaver pond films, and others, at the New England Forests Youtube channel.

We suggest you view them in sequence, beginning with "Beaver Pond Wildlife: Part 1 - Early Spring". To go directly to Part 2, click here, or on the player window below.






Monday, January 25, 2021

New Film: Beaver Pond Wildlife - Part 1

In a place like New England, or most anywhere else in the country for that matter, those of us who are fascinated by the daily goings-on of animals can get our wildlife fix at a beaver pond. A brief stop at the pond may or may not reward us with some kind of animal action, but a longer stay almost always will.

 

Osprey captures fish

Things typically don't happen in rapid-fire succession here; rather, there's usually a series of events with periods of relative quiet between them. So, it's become my habit to sit patiently and as still as possible at a pond, hopefully concealed in whatever vegetation is available. I minimize my movements, and try to scan the pond with eye movements only. I'm virtually always rewarded. There may be animals I expect to see (ducks, turtles, etc), but every once in a while, something unexpected appears too. Those are the more "mysterious" creatures that I rarely get a glimpse of... perhaps otters; a fisher; maybe a mink or a bobcat. Or, one of the less charismatic creatures does something out of the ordinary. 

 

Muskrat and goose
Muskrat and goose

 

 

The seasons make a difference in what is likely to be seen. Spring brings a flurry of activity, as many birds return from wintering grounds to set up households, and wildlife in general is re-energized and bringing new young into the world. Summer is alive with buzzing insects of all kinds (eg, dragonflies), frogs, and juveniles of many other species make their appearance. In late summer and fall, the great din of life recedes as birds migrate away, and other creatures may be more nocturnal.

  

 

Bobcat
Bobcat

 

Winter is certainly the quietest time, but there is life around the pond, both in and out of the water. It's more demanding to sit patiently in the cold, and I don't do that very often. But there's still much to see and learn... tracks in the snow, for example, can tell fascinating stories. Why, you can even gain a much greater awareness of your own toes, as they scream to be propped up by a warm wood stove!

And while you're toasting your toes, you may want to ease back in your comfy chair and vicariously spend even more time at the pond by watching our newest Youtube film... "Beaver Pond Wildlife: Part 1 - Early Spring". This is the first part of what will be a multi-part series covering a year's time at beaver ponds. Subsequent parts will be available in the near future. I'm confident this series will bring you some things you've never seen.

To watch the film, click here or on the player window below.