Downtown Beavers

Buffalo Bayou Beavers at Work in Downtown Houston

Jan. 6, 2017

Reader Thomas Jackson sent in this photo of the handiwork, or we should say, toothwork, of beavers, or a beaver, on a tree on Buffalo Bayou downtown. Jackson took the photo on the bank across from the University of Houston Downtown. He was surprised to find beavers at work downtown.

Evidence of beavers at work on Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston. Photo by Thomas Jackson on Jan. 4, 2017

Evidence of beavers at work on Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston. Photo by Thomas Jackson on Jan. 4, 2017

Our experts confirm this appears to be the work of beavers. Though there was some discussion that it could be an invasive nutria, and some puzzlement about why so many morsels had been left on the plate, naturalist and environmental lawyer Bruce Bodson explains that “one thing that they will often do is cut trees so that they fall into the water and then go nibble limbs from the relative safety of the water.  Also, the tastiest stuff tends to be on top.”

Bodson should know. He’s also the new executive director of Galveston Baykeeper, a nonprofit organization working to ensure that every waterway is swimmable, fishable, and drinkable.

We also think the top part of the tree is the tastiest.

Thanks for the photo, Thomas Jackson.

16 thoughts on “Downtown Beavers”

  1. Stephen Dittoe says:

    I saw a beaver while night fishing at 8:00pm tonight in Buffalo Bayou at a location 2 miles west of the West Belt. The beaver came within three feet of my feet. As I was shining a flashlight on him, he simply lingered for 10 seconds and swan off slowly.

    1. Excellent. Lucky you! Good for the beavers. They are a keystone species. You must have been in Terry Hershey Park.

  2. Jesse Wilson says:

    Just seen a beaver in greens bayou close to antoine and west greens. Wasn’t too afraid of us bc kept appearing every few minutes.

    1. Yay for beavers! Thanks for letting us know.

  3. Mike Y says:

    Big beaver, 3-4’ nose to tail, swimming down the middle of the bayou near Taft this evening at sunset. No camera…

    1. Good to know! Thanks.

  4. Robert W McCorkle says:

    I just saw a beaver here in Buffalo Bayou within eye shot of Down Town first time I have ever seen one !

    1. Lucky you! Beavers are keystone species. We are fortunate to have them, despite what some people think.

  5. David says:

    Beavers downtown on buffalo bayou out about at dusk. Have video if you like.

    1. Sure! Thanks. Post it on our Facebook page if you can, and we’ll post it on our website and Youtube channel too.

  6. Chris Campbell says:

    I’ve got some good close up video of beavers working in Buffalo Bayou.
    Is this rare?

    1. Lots of busy beavers in Buffalo Bayou. Put the video on You Tube and we will share it. Or send it to us.

  7. Barbara white says:

    Just saw two on White Oak bayou near Yale again tonight. It was just as sun was going down. There’s a large mound of branches that they swim to and from. Pretty cool!

    1. Send photos! Amazing. Thanks.

  8. Mike Jolly says:

    I’ve seen evidence of beavers in Barker reservoir on Buffalo Bayou this weekend. I’ve seen beaver downstream at Shepherd St. overpass. But these signs of them so far west are encouraging. They are really spreading.

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