I had never heard of a ground squirrel before. When it was first mentioned folks where referring to a chipmunk and I simply thought that was what Montana folk called them, I had no idea they were part of the rodent family Marmotit and that there were real ground squirrel out there in the wild. Then I went to Glacier National Park. Suddenly I was surround by these fury little critters.
Popping their heads out of their burrows they stare up at you longingly. It is apparent that they have crossed paths with a friendly human before. Eagerly they scurry up to you begging for food (despite the plethora of signs saying DO NOT FEED THEW ILDLIFE). Even with these signs, these critters find a way! Sitting up at Logan’s Pass we dined on our deli sandwiches. They scurried up to us, running in between our feet frantically looking for any fallen crumb. They are also keeping a look out for any human folk who aren’t paying absolute attention to their food. Seated on a rock, my mother in law put her sandwich down. Never a good idea with these feisty little critters around. In a moment the top bread was snatched from the sandwich and the little squirrel scurried away. Not to far away though, just far enough away to tauntingly eat that piece of bread in front of us.
The Ground Squirrels were adorable. They reminded me a of a cross between a squirrel just without the long bushy tail.
- *When meeting each other, ground squirrels will actually kiss.
- *Lewis and Clark brought attention to these little guys and in the 21st century it was confirmed with molecular genetics that they are in fact their own species.
- *In some areas, Columbian Ground Squirrels will hibernate for 250 days out of the year! Leaving just 100 days of activity throughout the year.
- *On a more gruesome but interesting note, cannibalism has been observed within the ground squirrel community.
*There are two subspecies that are found in the area but look just a wee bit different.
PLEASE REMEMBER, NO MATTER HOW CUTE THEY LOOK DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE. IT MAKES WILDLIFE LOOSE THEIR NATURAL FEAR OF HUMANS AND MANY TIMES THESE ANIMALS BECOME DEPENDENT ON PEOPLE FOR FOOD. SO AGAIN DO NOT FED THE WILDLIFE.