What Do Beavers Eat

Discover the dietary habits of beavers and how their feeding behaviors impact their habitat. Learn what beavers eat and how it influences the ecosystem.


Beavers are fascinating creatures known for their engineering skills and ability to build elaborate dams and lodges. But have you ever wondered what these rodents eat to sustain their energy and help them thrive in their habitat? Let’s explore the dietary habits of beavers and learn more about their unique feeding behaviors.

Beavers’ Diet

Beavers are herbivores, which means they primarily feed on plant materials. Their diet consists mainly of tree bark, twigs, leaves, and aquatic vegetation. A beaver’s sharp incisors are specially adapted for gnawing through tough tree bark and wood.

Tree Bark and Wood

One of the primary food sources for beavers is tree bark and wood. They prefer deciduous trees such as aspen, willow, birch, and maple. Beavers use their powerful teeth to cut down trees and strip off the bark, which they consume for its nutrients.

Aquatic Vegetation

Beavers also eat a variety of aquatic plants such as water lilies, cattails, and sedges. These plants provide essential nutrients and fiber to their diet. Beavers can dive underwater to harvest these vegetation, storing them in their dams for consumption.

Case Study: Yellowstone National Park

In Yellowstone National Park, beavers play a crucial role in shaping the ecosystem through their feeding habits. Researchers have observed how beavers help create more diverse habitats by building dams and feeding on willow trees, which promote growth in other plant species.


According to studies, a beaver can consume up to 20% of its body weight in food per day. This high intake allows them to store fat reserves for the winter months when food may be scarce. Beavers are excellent swimmers and can transport logs and branches to their lodges, where they consume their meals.


Beavers have a diverse diet that includes tree bark, wood, twigs, leaves, and aquatic vegetation. Their feeding habits are essential for shaping their environment and creating diverse habitats for other wildlife. By understanding what beavers eat, we can appreciate the significant role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

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