A few days ago, I kayaked to one of my favorite beaver lodges. There always seems to be 3-4 beavers active around this lodge as sunrise begins to emerge. On this day, I paddled the kayak close to the lodge and noticed this guy, so busy working on the roof of the lodge that he never saw me until he was done “re-roofing”. At that time, he “tail-slapped” me and dove underwater, only to emerge about 50 feet away from the lodge. The beavers here are usually not that afraid of me … they will usually tail-slap, but I believe that is primarily to warn the other beavers that a “guest” is present. But even after slapping, they will often swim to within a few feet of the kayak before again submerging.
Here are a few images I made as this guy worked on the lodge. Unfortunately, the way the lodge is built it is situated among a row of trees, which often causes difficulties in photographing them cleanly: