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.
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.
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.