Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Sciuridae Family

Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel
I want to pickup on a topic I spoke of rather briefly in the second part of the post on Talkative Thursday.

The Sciuridae Family and my experiences with at least 6 of them, 4 of which are apart of the Timber Life family.

The only member of the family that isn't a ground dweller is the Foxtail Squirrel showing off in the third picture below. I truly have fun watching all these little critters running here and there...


Foxtail Squirrel
Prairie Dog
However, a downside to these ground shifting rodents - unexpected holes to fall into when walking or driving around the farm and timber. After falling into holes created in the hard packed drive ,one will want to reconsider how fast the travel speed should be to complete the trip.

Soft soils are excellent medium to start a new tunnel and living quarters for most of  the cousins who live here in Iowa.                                           

The larger Groundhogs find no difficulty in expanding  their tunnels from between 8 - 66 feet with multiple rooms and exits.In the construction of their den it has been found to contain a room specifically associated to the bodily function of defecation. They usually have more than one den to keep them close to the best sources of food and protection. My observations have them building dens under wood piles, at bases of trees and in the slope of a hill in the timber floor.

I have been privileged to watch them scamper up trees and freeze in place so they won't be detected.

The Foxtail Squirrel is very industrious when it comes to distributing the Black Walnut seeds found in abundance here in our timber.

I would prefer they go about planting more acorns and hickory nuts instead of eating them...One of those human traits I would like to pass along - eat some, plant some and save some . The only problem with the last theory is the number of rodents and birds that feast on the same resources, there doesn't seem to be enough to save some.


In  September 2007, middle afternoon sun we found several Prairie Dog colonies in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Hubby and I hadn't seen these little creatures in the wild before this trip. It created a curiosity about their habits due to the problems they were said to be causing for the cattlemen and the destruction of the grazing lands over vast areas.

At the time of our visit to the Badlands they were beginning to test Blackfooted Ferrets as a means of biological control.
Yellow-bellied Marmot

This past summer during June, I had the great privilege of visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park outside Estes Park , CO., with my family.

On one of the Tourist Pull-off areas at Forest Canyon Overlook , we came across this chubby little Marmot out enjoying the late afternoon sun.

Please click the captions to find more information about each of the members of the squirrel family or previous posts here at Timber Life...

My hope is that the next time you see a member of the Sciuridae Family you'll have time to watch a little bit of nature in action in the great outdoors.

Thank you for your visit today! All pictures posted here are the property of Timber Life Wildscapes.