Camera offers rare glimpse into life of beaver family

A pair of beavers are now snuggling into the reality spotlight after the owlets fledged from their nest earlier this summer at Ellis Bird Farm.

Earlier this month

Earlier this month

A pair of beavers are now snuggling into the reality spotlight after the owlets fledged from their nest earlier this summer at Ellis Bird Farm.

Conservation staff focused the camera on the couple that recently moved into the main beaver lodge near the butterfly garden after the three young great horned owls flew off in mid-June.

Myrna Pearman, biologist and site manager, hopes the unique opportunity to watch beavers inside a dam will improve the animal’s tarnished image.

“It’s a rare glimpse into the lives of these common mammals that most people know only by their bad reputation for flooding and cutting down trees,” she said. “I think it will give people a new and greater appreciation for beavers.”

Pearman noted the critters’ contribute to healthy groundwater levels and beaver dams attract greater biodiversity while also removing pollution from the watershed.

One beaver was spotted around the farm located near Lacombe last year, but Pearman doesn’t know where these two came from or how old they are.

The couple was seen cuddling for part of Wednesday.

Staff took measure to protect the most vulnerable trees on site from the newest residents and tiles with holes were installed in the dam to avoid flooding.

The camera was positioned to look into the one chamber that the beavers have taken a liking to on Aug. 4.

Pearman said they’ll keep the camera there for as long as the beavers stick around, which could potentially be years.

She hopes the pair stays in the same chamber so viewers can watch as the beavers create a food cash in the fall, breed in the early winter and give birth later in the spring.

The beaver cam is streaming live online and can be accessed from bprda.wpengine.com.

ptrotter@bprda.wpengine.com