Fauna Flora Photography

Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus

The Muskrat is a medium sized rodent frequently seen in parks with lakes or rivers around Montreal. They build burrows with an underwater entrance along the banks of rivers, streams or lakes.



Common Names

FrenchRat musqué
SpanishRata almizclera


SpeciesOndatra zibethicus

How to Identify

When swimming, I can easily wrongly identified Muskrats as beavers. But once, having seen a beaver, I use the size as a distinguishable characteristics. Further, the shape of the tail and how the animal uses the tail to swim allows me to identify this animal. I rarely see beavers active at daylight, in opposition to Muskrats which I frequently observe during the day.

Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) - Parc des Rapides - 2017-04-15
Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) - Parc Angrignon - 2016-11-19

Where and When to Spot

Muskrats can be spotted all year long except winter in wetlands along ponds, lakes, rivers or streams. Best opportunities to observe Muskrats are during early spring in Rapids Park Lachine. With low vegetation it is easier to spot them.

Parc Angrignon x - - -
Parc Michel-Chartrand x - - -
Parc Nature Pointe aux Prairies x - - -
Parc de la Frayère x - - -
Parc des Rapides - x x -

Where and when a species has been observed, identified, and recorded.

Last updated on 2024-03-14. Written and regularly updated by Karl-Heinz Müller, Dipl. Natw. ETH, Biology. With 10 years of experience in wildlife photography, Karl-Heinz shares first-hand, on-site collected observations, photos and videos from his frequent visits to parks in the Montreal area.