Ground squirrels from Ontario...and then Yukon

Yesterday, a chubby Groundhog (Marmota monax) ran across the sidewalk in front of me while I was going up to my office.  It always takes a while for my brain to process what I am seeing, especially for animals rarely encountered.  At first I thought it was a badger, then a large muskrat, and eventually my brain settled on Mormota sp., the most sensible and logical choice.  Plus it looks awfully like the Hoary marmot that I saw in Yukon.


I followed the animal to where it was hiding (just underneath a rock-fenced garden) and took two photos before leaving the animal in peace.

While I am talking about animals from Family Sciuridae, I suppose I should upload some more photos that I have from Yukon.  Here're images of a young Arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryii) feeding on willow leaves near our campsite in Ivvavik National Park.

Arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryii)

Arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryii)

Arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryii)
Awfully cute, isn't it?  Although they were very unafraid of people this year, especially the Red squirrels which destroyed many people's backpacks and jackets left out in the open.

Here's my post of Sik-siks from last year's field season.

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