Saturday, May 23, 2020

White-Tailed Antelope Ground Squirrel

I got my first-ever photo of a white-tailed antelope ground squirrel today. I've seen many over the years, but they are so fast, so small and so inclined to keep moving that they've eluded me until today. Today I photographed two of them. 
White-tailed Antelope Squirrel.png
Range of the white-tailed antelope ground squirrel - from Wiki
They have brown to gray fur with a white stripe on each side running from  the shoulder to the hind end. They have white bellies and the underside of their tails is white. When they run they curl their tails over their backs so that the white tailed is what you primarily see of them. The tail also has a black stripe. They eat foliage, seeds, arthropods and, surprisingly to me, lizards and rodents on occasion. They are eaten by larger predators, but also fall victim to ticks, fleas, mites and lice. They are primarily active during the day during the cooler daylight hours. They appear to favor daylight to avoid the greater number of predators active during nighttime. 

The first one I photographed was off Hayfield Road while I was walking. 
Note that the tail is curled up over its back so that you see the white underside. 
This photo also shows the tail over the back, but you can see the black top of the tail and the white belly.  
The second was near Corn Springs which is about 15 miles further than Hayfield Road and 8 miles up a dirt road. I was driving slowly in my car looking for chuckwallas off the side of the road in the rocks. 
Here it is running up some rocks and the tail is not curled up over its back. 
Then it makes a great leap across a chasm to a higher ledge. 
And catches the edge of the rock.
Then climbs up onto the ledge and disappeared.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, these are AMAZING photos. The bodies are so tiny relevant to the head and long legs.