Creatures Great and Small – Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

/, Montana, Moose, Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Uinta Ground Squirrels, Yellow-pine Chipmunks/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 in MontanaMoose 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 ChipmunkYellow-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


  1. Tami Vogel June 18, 2012 at 11:29 am

    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!

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      Tami, I wasn’t sure how old the calf was but I knew it had to be fairly young. It was incredible to see. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Julie G. June 18, 2012 at 10:28 am

    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!

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      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.

  3. Steve Gent June 18, 2012 at 7:23 am

    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.

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Steve, I hope you get to see some Moose soon! I’d love to see the rest of your list too. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Elijah Goodwin June 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Love the images Mia! Especially the chubby little critters.

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Elijah, that chubby little moose sure made my day to see and photograph it! Thanks for your comment.

  5. Beverly Everson June 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Fantastic as always!!!

  6. Dan Huber June 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm

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


    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you Dan, I didn’t get to see any Moose while I was in Maine but I do get to see them out here in the west. Thanks again.

  7. Preston June 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Great moose shoot. Congrats

  8. Syl June 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    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..

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Syl, I thought I was very fortunate to have the moose looking right at me too. I know I never tire of nature and it never, ever disappoints.

  9. Linda Rockwell June 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

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

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks Linda. The little Mooselette stole my heart!

  10. Julie Brown June 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

    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.

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you Julie, your comment is much appreciated.

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