Here are a couple of the largest rodents you can see in Carburn Park in SE Calgary.
Muskrat, Carburn Park, May 23, 2017. Photo by Tony LePrieur.
Beaver, Carburn Park, May 23, 2017. Photo by Tony LePrieur.
These two species can sometimes be confused for each other, especially when they are swimming. Of course the Beaver is much larger but sometimes size is hard to judge in the field. Beavers have big flat tails but they are not always visible. Muskrats have long tails without fur. These photos show some of the differences that help with identification when the other traits aren’t clear: the big wide head with large nose and prominent ears of the Beaver, and the small face and often hidden ears of the muskrat. Fur colour can vary but around here muskrats seem to usually be reddish like this one.