Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Golden-mantled ground squirrel

Learn about other Critters: CoyoteMountain GoatsMarmotsMoose

Golden-mantled ground squirrel 
The Golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) is commonly mistaken for a Chipmunk because of the strips on its back. Chipmunks also have strips on their faces, which is one way to tell them apart. Chipmunks are also diminutive compared to the rotund and comical Golden-mantled ground squirrel.
Please pay attention to me, I am about to be cute and entertaining. 
Note the stripes across the back but not on the face. 
Undoubtedly bored with their diet of berries, seeds, fungi, nuts, and insects they are notorious beggars that will plague picnickers in populated areas like Rocky Mountain National Park. In fact, the specimen in this post was a trail clown posing for me as I made my way to Lake Haiyaha. I viewed its joyful frolicking in the dirt as a celebration of life and of summer. These squirrels hibernate most of the winter and summer is their time to eat, play, and reproduce. I would be frolicking in the dirt too!
My right cheek pouch is already full. That will be 4 Doritos please.
I will now roll in the dirt. Perhaps you will feed me when I am done.