Friday, June 3, 2016

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel at Wascana Park, Regina

Perhaps I'm the only one who thinks that Thirteen-Lined Grounds Squirrels are amazingly cute creatures. What could be better than stripes and spots, and a name that's almost longer than their own tiny bodies?

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel. Copyright © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel, so named
for the alternating dark and light bands on their backs. © SB

I've seen them standing at the sides of our roads, and even watched them carry babies across. (Now those must be teeny!) But watching Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrels eat is always intriguing. And no, I have no idea what this fellow is holding. I know only that he was shoving it into his mouth when he first noticed me — or I first noticed him — and then he removed it. But these creatures are said to be omnivores, so who knows?

I noticed this Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel in the Habitat Conservation area at Wascana Park during the May 2016 Wings Over Wascana Day. He was very close to my path, and stood very still while I took a few pictures — until a guy explaining a nearby water hose to his kid scared this little rodent away.

I wonder: Would the kid have liked to see him? I doubt they even realized he was there.

Slow down. Be quiet. Watch and listen.

What is this? A Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Location: Wascana Habitat Conservation Area, Wascana Marsh/Park/Bird Sanctuary, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Photo date: May 28, 2016

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