What Do Beavers Eat? (Beaver Diet and Favorite Food)

In this article, we’ll answer the question:

“What do beavers eat?”

First, you’ll find a short summary of what beavers eat in nature, then get a list of a beaver’s favorite foods that make up a typical beaver diet. And finally, answers to common questions about beaver feeding habits and nutrition.

Beavers are herbivores in the genus Castor of the family Castoridae in the order Rodentia. There are two extant species of beavers: the North American beaver and the Eurasian beaver.

What do beavers eat
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What Do Beavers Eat?

Beavers eat bark and cambium of plants as well as twigs and foliage of several types of trees. A beaver’s diet is determined by the availability of vegetation in its habitat.

Beaver Diet (Favorite Foods)

  • Alder
  • Aspen
  • Birch
  • Cottonwood
  • Maple
  • Poplar
  • Willow
  • Buds
  • Leaves
  • Roots
  • Stems
  • Twigs
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Grapes

How Often Does a Beaver Eat?

A beaver often eats several times per day to meet daily energy requirements but will eat less depending on their size, the season, and activity level. Beavers are industrious animals that spend most of their time gathering food and dining on bark, cambium, twigs, and foliage for nutrition.

According to Animal Diversity Web, “Beavers are a keystone species, having the ability to change the flow and nutrient cycling of a watershed by building dams to regulate water depth.” A beaver will also spend the autumn season building food caches in the water to last them through the winter when food is more sparse.

How Much Do Beavers Eat Per Day?

A beaver eats between 1.5 to 2 kg of food daily during the summer season when vegetation is more readily available and activity levels are high. But during the winter, a beaver consumes around 0.9 kg per day because of fewer food resources and reduced metabolic rates.

How Long Can Beavers Live Without Food?

Beavers can live 2 to 3 days without food before they die. If a beaver does not have food for several days, the organs will not have the energy to function to keep the animal alive.

Do Beavers Eat Fish?

Beavers do not eat fish because they are herbivores that only eat leaves, bark, twigs, roots, and aquatic plants. A beaver will not eat fish or animals of any kind that share the same habitat.

Do Beavers Eat Fruit?

Beavers eat fruits, such as berries, grapes, and apples when these fruits are available in their habitat. Eating fruit is a change of pace from the beaver’s typical diet of bark, twigs, and plant-based foods.

Do Beavers Eat Meat?

Beavers never eat meat because their diet is strictly herbivorous, comprising leaves, twigs, and bark of various trees. A beaver will eat coniferous trees like fir and pine that it typically uses for dam building when food is scarce but not meat from other animals.

Do Beavers Eat Snakes?

Beavers do not eat snakes because they are strictly herbivores. A beaver will not hunt or attack reptiles of any kind and not eat a snake in the wild.

What Animals Eat Beavers?

Beavers are prey to a number of different species.

You can visit our other guide on what animals eat beavers to find out which predators actively feed on these rodent mammals.

Beaver diet

Beaver Eating Habits and Diet Summary

You now know what do beavers eat in the wild as well as the typical food in a beaver diet.

As you discovered in this guide, beavers are herbivores that only eat vegetation for nutrition with a beaver’s favorite food being things like bark, twigs, and cambium of plants.