Thirteen-Lined Cutie

Especially now that the weather’s warmed up, the feeders at work attract as many mammals as they do bird. The red squirrels were there all winter, and now the chipmunks have come out of hibernation and joined them, and there’s one big fat gray squirrel that sticks out like a sore thumb among its small hyperactive cousins. And best of all, there are a couple of these:

Not the greatest photo in the world – these guys are pretty shy, so I had to take this photo through a window and then crop the heck out of it. But this is a thirteen-lined ground squirrel, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus. The only place I remember seeing them before this spring was in Saskatchewan, and I find their pattern of polka dots and stripes incredibly cute. Some people consider them pests for their habit of digging holes in yards and gardens and fields, but too bad. I think they’re adorable!

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7 thoughts on “Thirteen-Lined Cutie”

  1. Aw, that is cute! This reminds me of the ground squirrels we used to see when we camped in California when I was a little kid. Gotta love squirrels. :)

  2. Well, they are cute, and they can be pests, so let’s call them cute pests. ;) It isn’t their digging that bothered me, it was what they ate when visiting our gardens that irked me.

    Oh, and by the way, I signed that petition, and some how that got me signed up to Move on.org, I guess the joke was on me, wasn’t it?

      1. It’s no big deal, but when I received an Email call to action from Move On, I was wondering how the heck I got on their mailing list. When I unsubscribed, I found out it was from having signed the online petition to save the falls. If it does save the falls, it’s worth it.

  3. I saw these in Ohio for the first time in two places the same day. I was amazed! I had no idea they lived here. The first place was in a pretty sterile (ecologically speaking) cemetery in Chesterville (Morrow County) and the second place was in a lawn on the Kenyon College campus next to the bike trail parking.

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