Beavers are extremely social creatures as they always live in dens with other beavers. Their skill at dam construction is outstanding; one dam can withstand the weight of 7 or 8 people. Beavers play a vital part in nature, as they have a role in the natural process of forest succession through their treefelling and flooding. Beavers feed primarily on the bark and wood of trees such as aspens, and during the winter they rely on food reserves which they stockpile in their dens.
Black bears are solitary creatures preferring not to come in contact with other bears; if this does occur fights soon break out. Black bears are omnivorous and will feed on plants, carrion, and smaller mammals. Black bears have a period of dormancy during the winter, and contrary to popular belief, black bears do not fully hibernate as they are in and out consciousness during their sleep.
Muskrats are large (approximately sixty centimetres in length) and thus are one of the most important of all the fur-bearing animals. They are social animals, living in communes with other muskrats. They are generally nocturnal but will come out to feed during the daytime under cloudy conditions. In the winter, muskrats form a structure dubbed a ‘push-up,’ a dome-like structure which is made from frozen vegetation.
The eastern cottontail is chunky red-brown or gray-brown in appearance with large hind feet, long ears and a short fluffy white tail. Its underside fur is white. There is a rusty patch on the tail. Its appearance differs from that of a hare in that it has a brownish-gray coloring around the head and neck. The body is lighter color with a white underside on the tail. It has large brown eyes and large ears to see and listen for danger.
Deciduous Coyotes are very social, maintaining a hierarchy and high level of cooperation among the pack. Coyotes are very intelligent hunters often setting traps for their prey, but may become overzealous at times, attempting to capture large ungulates which often results in the coyotes defeat and retreat. With the ongoing expansion of the human population coyotes are forced to co-exist with people and subsequently are considered pests on farms and border towns as they hunt domestic animals and pets.
The eastern chipmunk lives in deciduous wooded areas and urban parks throughout the eastern United States and southern Canada. It prefers locations with rocky areas and shrubs to provide cover.A small species, it reaches about 30 cm in length including the tail, and a weight between 66 and 150 g. It has reddish-brown fur on its upper body and five dark brown stripes contrasting with light brown stripes along its back, ending in a dark tail. It has lighter fur on the lower part of its body. It has a tawny stripe that runs from its whiskers to below its ears, and light stripes over its eyes.
The squirrel’s fur is thicker and longer in winter. The fur colour is grey or black and may change with the seasons. The grey fur is a grizzled salt-and-pepper combination produced by lead-grey underfur, overlain by banded grey and black guard hairs tipped with white. Black individuals are generally a glossy uniform black all over, but the species may show all shades of gradation between black and grey. A litter may contain both black and grey individuals.
As the name suggests, the eastern gray squirrel has predominantly gray fur, but it can have a brownish color. It has a usual white underside as compared to the typical brownish-orange underside of the fox squirrel. It has a large bushy tail. Particularly in urban situations where the risk of predation is reduced, both white- and black-colored individuals are quite often found.
Woodchucks are occasionally found with melanistic o
r albino fur. The fur of melanistic specimens is co
black. Albinos, on the other hand, have no colour i
n their fur at all, and even their eyes lack pigmen
merely showing a pinkish tinge from blood vessels n
ear the surface. Being white, they are conspicuous,
usually fall easily to predators.
Both the American and European mink are semiaquatic carnivores. Their diet mostly consists of fish, small rodents, amphibians, crustaceans, and insects depending on its ecological niche. Voles are one of the primary targets for both mink species and as a result of this, some vole species are experiencing a significant population decline
Red foxes have excellent eyesight, a keen sense of
smell, and acute hearing, which help them greatly w
hunting. The slight movement of an ear may be all t
hat they need to locate a hidden rabbit. They can s
nests of young rabbits or eggs hidden by long grass
. Sometimes they wait patiently for the sound of a
moving along its path in grass or snow and then pou
nce. At other times, hearing movement underground,
dig quickly and locate the prey by its scent.
The red squirrel has a typical head-and-body length of 19 to 23 cm (7.5 to 9 in), a tail length of 15 to 20 cm (5.9 to 7.9 in) and a mass of 250 to 340g (8.8 to 12 oz).The coat of the red squirrel varies in colour with time of year and location. There are several different coat colour morphs ranging from black to red.
The Virginia opossum is noted for reacting to threats by feigning death. This is the genesis of the term “playing possum”, which means pretending to be dead or injured with intent to deceive. In the case of the opossum, the reaction seems to be involuntary, and to be triggered by extreme fear.
The graceful white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginian
us is well known to most North
Americans. Hunters and nonhunters alike recognize t
he animal by its habit of
flourishing its tail over its back, revealing a sta
rk white underside and white buttocks.
This “flag” of the white-tailed deer is often glimp
sed as the high spirited animal
dashes away from people.