Yellow-bellied Marmots at Capitol Reef National Park

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Yellow-bellied Marmot at Capitol Reef National ParkYellow-bellied Marmot at Capitol Reef National Park – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The highlight of my morning yesterday was photographing two Yellow-bellied Marmots at Capitol Reef National Park. I saw several more but could not get photos of them because a fence was in the way. This first marmot was already busy gathering grasses and at one point had a mouthful of them. Yellow-bellied Marmots hibernate during the winter and I always get excited when I see them out of their burrows in the spring.

Yellow-bellied Marmot warming up on a boulderYellow-bellied Marmot warming up on a boulder – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Yellow-bellied Marmots are nicknamed “Whistle Pigs” for the sounds they make and “Rock Chucks” for the habitat they are found in. This image shows that type of habitat well. I don’t know what this marmot had been doing before I saw it climb up the rocks but once it got to the top it stretched out in the warmth of the sun and seemed to be very relaxed.

Life is good.

Mia

5 Comments

  1. Elephant's Child March 18, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Awww.
    How I would love to be able to ‘lax like so many animals. So many ‘dumb’ animals who are a lot smarter than I am.

  2. Jami Bollschweiler March 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Great images Mia. I adore these guys.

  3. Utahbooklover March 18, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Always enjoy seeing these critters. I was also soaking up the warmth of the sun today while listening to Science Friday on NPR. Really enjoyed the interview with evolutionary biologist Sean B. Carroll. He has a new book THE SERENGETI RULES: THE QUEST TO DISCOVER HOW LIFE WORKS AND WHY IT MATTERS. You can read more about it at his web site: seanbcarroll.com.

  4. Patty Chadwick March 18, 2016 at 9:16 am

    These guys are so chunky, cute, and curvy…I always Iike to see them…they look cudfly, but would probably bite the hell out of you if you tried to hold them…they have some BIG teeth….all the better for munching on grass and twigs with….

  5. Bob mcpherson March 18, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia. Interesting critters.

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