Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Short Story of the Beaver at my Window

Ok, so this happened two days ago. I was in my kitchen, cleaning up and puttering about after a weekend of both children visiting/living at home (so fun). I heard a very loud thunk, as if a bird had flown into my window, but louder. I live on the river, up a fairly steep bank, and the view of my decks and the marsh beyond is visible through four big picture windows and one sliding glass door. Frequently birds try to enter the reflected world and bang into the glass, mostly flying away, sometimes not.

This time I looked out and saw - what? - some mammal, not much bigger than a squirrel, with a pointy rodent face and wet, dark fur. Muskrat? No - the tail was flat and wide. A beaver?? It was sitting on my windowsill, looking around. What? I started talking to it in an accusatory tone. I have had snakes and mice and chipmunks and bats and even a squirrel inside my house but never a beaver so close! I did not even think they were in the Kalamazoo River. "What are you doing here? Why are you at my window? You cannot come in!" It shook its head and ran under the deck steps. I felt thankful that it had not crashed through the screen at my open slider.

But, really? A beaver? Did it climb the bank and why would it? Did it think there was some amazing food inside? Did it need to meet Charlie the dog? That evening I described the scene to Allen. After thinking briefly, he solved the mystery. The very young (they are normally 4 to 12 times that size) beaver at my window had fallen from the sky, having been lifted off in the talons of an eagle or an owl or a hawk, all of which live on the river here. It had struggled hard enough to get free and it landed on my deck. Right?? Yes. No other plausible explanation.

My hope is that it made it back to its parents and the water in fairly good shape. I am happy to know this ecosystem is healthy enough to house beavers. Another score for mother nature!

1 comment:

  1. Great story! There are beaver in the Kalamazoo, and even the Black River near South Haven. I have pics. Pretty cool!