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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Muskrat Success!

In my last post I explained that I had moved two cameras out to our small wetland hoping for muskrat photos. It took a while, but my wish has been granted. These are by far the best 'rat pics i have obtained. Our wetland is a recreation and was dug as part of a USFWS private lands restoration program. We ended up with a three acre wetland and a ten acre warm-season grassland.
(Seneca Falls, NY 9/2011)
Anyway, it wasn't long after the wetland was dug that we spotted our first muskrats. We now have three ponds in addition to our wetland and we have 'rats in all four bodies of water. They are welcome additions to our property, except when they create bank lodges that collapse and cause havoc with my mowing and weaken the artificial dikes that created the wetland in the first place. In this first photo, we have a muskrat moving down the dike to the open water.

Muskrat carrying vegetation
(Seneca Falls, NY 9/2011)
In this next photo, a muskrat is carrying a large amount of vegetation, probably reed canary grass, into the water. Is this to be building material for a lodge or is this food? I am not sure. I will have to watch for evidence...

Muskrat standing
(Seneca Falls, NY 9/2011)
In this next photo, it seems that the muskrat is standing on its hind feet. A quick Google search of "muskrat standing" produced lots of images like mine along with taxidermed specimens, photos of woodchucks and Mother Google asking me if I am sure I didn't mean "meerkat standing".

(Seneca Falls, NY 9/2011)
These muskrat photos cannot have come at a better time. I just returned today from our second and final weekend at the Muller Field Station with my Wetland Mammals class. We had camera traps out for two weeks and had some very interesting results (I will share in the coming weeks). But one thing we did NOT photograph, was a single muskrat...

1 comment:

  1. Nice JVN!

    Very cool muskrat pics.

    particularly like the hauling vegetation and standing shots!


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