Beavers cut down trees. With their teeth. Period. Everyone knows that.

Until this week, though, I’d never considered the fact that I’d never actually watched one of nature’s lumberjacks perform the feat.

That changed when Mike Talon sent in this video, which shows an industrious beaver (do they come in any other form?) doing just that.

“I thought I would share this beaver cutting down a tree April 10 behind my house at an undisclosed location in Old Town,” Talon said. “I condensed about 30 minutes of video into [90 seconds] of highlights.”

The video is super-cool, as I’m sure you’ll agree. To increase your enjoyment, crank up the volume so you can hear this flat-tailed wood-chipper doing its thing.

Three things about the video really stand out to me. First, as I already mentioned, the sound that the beaver makes while gnawing the tree.

Second, the sheer volume of wood chips that fall out of the beaver’s mouth when it pauses to catch its breath is impressive. At one point, the beaver seems to reach up with its paw to shovel some of those chips out of its mouth and onto the ground.

And third, this forest engineer has clearly read through OSHA safety guidelines. At the 1 minute mark of the video, the beaver transitions rapidly from chewer to sprinter as it runs for safety. Moments later, the tree falls in the opposite direction.

Nice move, beaver. Nice move.

Keep those videos and photos coming!

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted. If you can’t view the photos or video mentioned in this story, go to

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...