Creatures Great and Small – Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

There are many mammals to see at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Montana, I haven’t seen them all yet but I hope to one day. On this last trip I saw Moose, Elk, Skunks, Ground Squirrels, Chipmunks, Foxes, White-tailed and Mule Deer, Yellow-bellied Marmots, and Pronghorns.

Moose with calf

Moose with calf near an Aspen grove

It was a first for me to be able to photograph a Moose (Alces alces) with her calf, they had moved up from the gravel road to stand near an Aspen grove at one of the cottages at Lakeview where the headquarters of the refuge is located. I envy the residents there because they get to see Moose often but I was extremely happy to have the opportunity to see and create images of them.

Ground Squirrel - Uinta perhaps?

Ground Squirrel – Uinta perhaps?

Just from my observations there appears to be several species of Ground Squirrels on the refuge, I believe this one might be a Uinta Ground Squirrel but I could be wrong and would appreciate an ID on the species. I enjoy hearing the squirrels calling and seeing them scurrying around in the grasses and tops of fallen logs.

Yellow-pine Chipmunk

Yellow-pine Chipmunk?

I think that this is a Yellow-pine Chipmunk (Tamias amoenus), I photographed it as it ate a seed head perched on a rustic fence in Lakeview. Chipmunks have been a favorite of mine since I was a small child and to this day they still fascinate me.

These are just three mammal species that delight me when I have visited Red Rock Lakes NWR. It would be wonderful to see the Wolves, Grizzlies and Mountain Lions that are in the area too.


More images and info on Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Pingback: A Moose and her Calf

  2. Mia, these are great photos. It must’ve been so exciting to come across the cow and calf. It’s still all golden and fuzzy, maybe a week old? How incredible to see. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Outstanding photographs, as usual! How fortunate you were to see the moose with her adorable calf. I think I would be beside myself with glee if I saw this pair. We used to canoe the boundary waters of Canada with high hopes of spotting a moose … no such luck. Sweet chipmunk and squirrel images, as well. Superb captures!

    • Julie, I was beside myself with glee after seeing & photographing the moose and calf. I couldn’t stop thinking or talking about it for quite some time. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I envy your encounter with the moose and calf, an animal I have yet to see. It is on my list so I am confident I will see one eventually, along with Bear, Cougar, Wolf and Wolverine and maybe a Pine Marten.

  5. Love the images Mia! Especially the chubby little critters.

  6. Super captures Mia. I love the moose, i have only had a chance to get one photo so far up in maine. cheers


  7. Great moose shoot. Congrats

  8. Wonderful shot of the moose and were so fortunate for her looking right at you..I really think one never tires of the wonder of nature. Love the squirrel and chipmunk..Have a great day..

  9. Lovely photos as usual Mia. That little moose calf is adorable!!

  10. What a great catch to get the moose and calf with a nice head turn! I also like the texture on the logs that the squirrel and chipmunk are sitting on. Nice detail and background in both shots, as well.

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