Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nature Notes: Squirrels and a Deer

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A Golden-Manteled Ground Squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) at Bryce Canyon NP. Note the lack of face stripes that sets it apart from chipmunks. It's also quite a bit larger, up to twelve inches long. During winter, they hibernate in ground burrows.

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This guy lived next to our campside and he would go and hide in the hubcaps of our RV ... who knows why. It might just have been nice and cool in there. At least he didn't bring anything to eat with him, that would have made such an awful lot of noise when driving.

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Another one, we saw it on a hike through the canyon. Which is a spectacular place:

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A Uintah chipmunk (Neotamias umbrinus) also rather charmingly named Hidden Forest Chipmunk, also lived in the canyon. This species is common at Bryce Canyon and while it spends some time on the ground to forage, it lives mainly in trees and has its nest there. Unlike ground squirrels, all chipmunks will be active during winter from time to time and will spend summer and autumn with hiding and storing food for this time. Uintah chipmunks, uniquely among chipmunks, will also fatten themselves up to get them over the winter.

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My dad and a mule deer. Click for a bigger version if you can't find the deer. A young buck, not afraid of us at all - he wandered all across the campground and settled down for a nap less than ten yeards from us.

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Nature Notes is hosted by Michelle over at Rambling Woods

Resources:
Golden-Manteled Ground Squirrel
Smithsonian
Wikipedia
Bryce Canyon NP

Uintah Chipmunk
Smitsonian
Wikipedia
Bryce Canyon NP

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