New Mammal in The Heart of Frick Park

Aspen felled by a beaver, Nine Mile Run, 20 July 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

25 July 2020

Last week I found an aspen lying in the creek that used to be its home. The cone shape of the stump means a beaver felled this tree.

Aspen felled by a beaver, Nine Mile Run, Frick Park, 20 July 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

Beaver evidence is common at Moraine State Park, Raccoon Creek and even at Pittsburgh’s North Shore and on Washington’s Landing island. What makes this scene unusual is that it’s in the heart of Frick Park.

The felled aspen is next to the new upper boardwalk on Frick Park’s Nine Mile Run Trail. (See the edge of boardwalk in the photo below.)

Beaver evidence is next to the upper boardwalk on the Nine Mile Run Trail, Frick Park, 20 July 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

I’ve seen beaver evidence along the Monongahela River near Duck Hollow so I’m not surprised that a beaver swam or walked up Nine Mile Run. When he got to the boardwalk he found the perfect habitat: a shallow waterfall (man-made) and lots of trees to eat.

I haven’t seen the Frick Park beaver but I’ve seen a photo.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next. 😉

(photos by Kate St. John)

11 thoughts on “New Mammal in The Heart of Frick Park

  1. The signs of beaver have been around since January or so, and it was photographed once swimming along the creek up Braddock Trail. The current felling of the aspen was done 4 days ago, and since then (s)he has been visible every night and quite relaxed.

  2. Hope someone does not hurt him or trap him! That’s what happens to any beaver that try’s to stay in the channel by Washington’s Landing!

  3. Short story about beavers…eager beavers. Went for a walk. Saw a downed tree just like the one in your photo. No beaver in sight, just tree. Walked for about 50 minutes round trip. On the return the tree had been denuded of all bark and branches. OMG. Still no beaver in sight. They are mysterious to me.

  4. I have regularly seen beaver at Duck Hollow (first time at least a decade ago), so maybe there was finally a pair who successfully bred (I have not seen evidence of this – just single animals swimming with branches) – and kicked the kid out.

  5. This is so amazing to see/hear. It’s so surreal to see what I wouldn’t consider an “urban” species right within the city limits.

  6. Hello! Love your blog. I saw this beaver a few times and loved looking for it on walks, but noticed last night the dam is completely gone. Is this normal behavior / do you know what happened? Don’t know a lot about beavers but thought this was a weird time for that to happen in the middle of winter.

    1. Colin, beavers don’t deconstruct their dams but a flood or people could do so. I have no idea if the dam was removed but a reason to do it would be flooding or drainage problems.

  7. Thank you Kate. That is a major bummer, and I have to assume it was people because it had been up for almost a year. Will ask around the park and let you know if I learn anything!

    1. Whatever the answer turns out to be, don’t fret too much about the beaver. They are resilient mammals.

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