The FWP’s Montana Outdoors magazine has an article on one of our favorite little creatures, the ground squirrel.
Although I don’t think that we have the Richard’s ground squirrel on the North Fork, the Columbian ground squirrel is native to our parts, it’s still interesting reading.
It begins… One of the best places in Montana to see wildlife is around a colony of ground squirrels. Colonies are clusters of burrows used by a dozen of more of the rodents, commonly called “gophers.” At a gopher colony, you stand a good chance of seeing burrowing owls, bull snakes, raptors, badgers, and sometimes a fox. And of course there are the ground squirrels themselves—sitting upright on their haunches looking for enemies, or scurrying back and forth between burrow openings and feeding areas. Read the full article here.
We didn’t know this, for example… Females begin breeding at age one and produce a single litter each year. While young males disperse to new areas, mothers and daughters establish lifelong bonds and defend their home territories against males and unrelated females.
They’ll be back in our yards and gardens very soon now.