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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Look Who Woke Up!

13-lined ground squirrel
Do you remember this little friend? It's one of the most frequently sighted furballs in my yard, and I've blogged about it before. But, I've rarely been so thrilled to see one. It's a 13-lined ground squirrel, Ictidomys Tridecemlineatus. That amazing species name just means 13 lines! The genus is actually a new breakdown of the old Spermophilus genus. All of the genetic testing is revolutionizing taxonomy!
13-lined ground squirrel

They are terrible for a lawn, but they are so cute, that I can't stay angry. Our "lawn" isn't a big deal. I'm always happy to see them, but this late spring, it seems like a real promise of increasing warmth.
13-lined ground squirrel

Don't you just wonder what it's thinking about? Actually, in this case, I can tell you with a great deal of accuracy based on what happened next.
13-lined ground squirrel eating a slug

It grabbed a slug! Nothing like a tasty lunch! And I suspect that many of you who find some of my wildlife dinners gruesome will not mourn the passing of a slug nearly so much.

I'm still smiling at the antics of this little one. They do hibernate, so the awakening is a true sign of spring. I won't tell him that the weather forecast is rain and snow all week.

See New Digs for Peabody's Great, Great...


spinninglovelydays said...

So cute! I wish we had cute rodents that freely roam the neighborhood.

vanilla said...

Nice photographic record of your friend's breakfast hunt. We had one of those in our yard a few years ago. But our dog is a rat terrier...

Betchai said...

oh, so cute, the eyes are lovely.

Ann said...

oh he is a little cutie. I've never seen one of those before

rainfield61 said...

It was confused what to eat after hibernating for a long time.

Sharkbytes said...

Ivy- you must have some little rodents there- really? you don't?

vanilla- Maggie has dispatched a few. I try not to get attached to any particular one... and they do make an awful mess digging holes.

betchai- they really are cute, and those huge eyes seem very knowing.

ann- I never had seen one till we moved to Michigan. Upper Midwest/ Plains is their bailiwick

rainfield- you'd think so... they mostly like seeds, but will eat the occasional insect, etc. and I caught him in the act!

Ratty said...

I love seeing these little fellas. It's such fun discovering one for the first time.

Lin said...

AWWW! He is awfully cute!! And I'm glad to see they eat slugs. I don't like them very much. Blech.

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- they have a way of getting into your cute zone! for sure.

Lin- They mostly eat seeds. I was surprised to see that it had a slug, but they do occasionally go for some protein.

spinninglovelydays said...

Not cute ones!

RNSANE said...

Ummm, yummy slugs..not on the top of my dietary favorites. Now, I might fight him for snail with lots of garlic butter. He is so cute, no wonder you don't mind him.

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