Sunday, October 4, 2009

Muskrat eating platform

Dan writes:
My brother and kayaked through the marsh at the north end of Delaney
today, and found many new, fresh cones of piled vegetation and bottom
muck along the shore. The ones closest to the boat launch were beaver
scent mounds, but as we got further along, and into the cattail marsh,
questions about beaver scent mounds vs. muskrat feeding platforms and
lodges came up again. We found some piles that were nothing more than
overturned lily pads (stems cut at 45 degrees, facing up) atop old
stumps. We found half-eaten white lily flowers, and flower stems that
looked like they had been eaten "artichoke-style".

The mounds that seemed most beaver-like were right out in the open - as
you'd expect a territorial marker would be. Back in the marsh, however,
the structures were mostly hidden 2-3 feet back in the cattails from the
open water.

We paddled over to one prominent "muskrat feeding platform", if that's
what it was, on the edge of the marsh. While it may have been
originally constructed as a feeding platform (it had a pile of lily
flower stems), it had been turned into a "muskrat eating platform".
There was a nice, neat pile of bones, and one we found fur and claws
that clearly indicated this was a muskrat carcass (or multiple
carcasses). There's a well-fed mink out there somewhere.


  1. Very interesting. No photos? I'd love to get out there someday soon....maybe after more of the leaves have fallen, so visibility into those tight areas will be even better.

  2. I, too, am disappointed by the absence of a photo. But it occurred to me that if Jori is still out of town, Dan's refrigerator may indeed be empty. Those bones might have made a life or death difference to him, so perhaps a little slack is in order.