Uinta Ground Squirrels of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

/, Centennial Valley, Montana, Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Uinta Ground Squirrels/Uinta Ground Squirrels of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Uinta Ground Squirrel PortraitUinta Ground Squirrel Portrait – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Uinta Ground Squirrels are the most plentiful mammals I see during the summer months in the Centennial Valley.  They are only above ground about three and a half months of the year and are very busy during the day gathering grass and seeds to store for when they are underground.

A Centennial Valley Uinta Ground SquirrelA Centennial Valley Uinta Ground Squirrel – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I love photographing these Ground Squirrels every chance I get and once in a while they will even cooperate and stay still, this one did.

They are called “Potgut” in northern Utah though I don’t see why they got that name, they don’t appear to have a potgut to me.

A welcoming Uinta Ground Squirrel at the gate to the River Marsh CampgroundA welcoming Uinta Ground Squirrel at the gate to the River Marsh Campground – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

At the gate to the Lower Lake of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge three days ago there must have been a dozen of the squirrels and this one seemed to be welcoming me “home” while the rest of the squirrels disappeared.

Life is good.

Mia

5 Comments

  1. Elephant's Child June 17, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Potgut? Not from where I am sitting, sucking mine in.
    Love that alert and considering gaze.

  2. Stu Megan June 17, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Lovely Images Mia. Very Studious looking.. I think they read a lot ;).. You get such wonderful closeups

  3. Utahbooklover June 17, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Looks like I got the wrong ground squirrel in my previous comment. Also from Wikipedia: The Uinta ground squirrel (Urocitellus armatus), commonly called a Potgut in northern Utah, is a native of the northern Rocky Mountains and surrounding foothills of the Western United States. It is found in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming.

  4. Utahbooklover June 17, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Great images of a critter I had never heard of. From Wikipedia: Belding’s ground squirrel (Urocitellus beldingi), also called pot gut, sage rat or picket-pin, is a squirrel that lives on mountains in the western United States. In California, it often is found at 6,500 to 11,800 feet (2,000–3,600 m) in meadows between Lake Tahoe and Kings Canyon.

  5. Patty Chadwick June 17, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Great portraits…surprised those claws are so long with all the digging they do, but they look like very effective earth moving tools. Those tiny ears must help keep the dirt out…a well-designed little critter….

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