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Richardson's Ground Squirrel Vocalizing - Urocitellus richardsonii | by Paul B Jones
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Richardson's Ground Squirrel Vocalizing - Urocitellus richardsonii

This smallish rodent can be abundant out in the grasslands, colonies of them dot the dry fields and line the roadsides. Their alarm call is a high pitched ventriloquial squeak. On my first visit to the prairies I searched days for the source of the sound, staring up into the sky and on top of bushes looking for a bird until I finally figured out what was going on.


These gophers, as they are locally known, have an unfortunate tendency to hurl themselves under passing cars and trucks. Compounding the problem, they like to feed (oblivious to further traffic) on their fallen comrades - which creates even more carnage on the roads. On the upside their isn't any shortage of the little fellows.


This photograph was taken in Elkwater Alberta in Cypress Hills Provincial Park right along the lakeside main street.

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Taken on June 6, 2012