Columbian Ground Squirrel in Pasayten Wilderness

 (G. Thomas Bancroft)

A family of Columbian Ground Squirrels came out on a rock to scold me as I hiked down the Pacific Crest Trail in Pasayten Wilderness Area. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

The “bird-like” chirp

Rung across the meadow

Persistent chirp, chirp, chirp

What was it?

I stop to look

Stand very still so

It does not stop

For I am the danger

There, in the long grass

The head of a squirrel

Out on a rock pops another

Smaller than the first

Mother, the first, scurries

Arrives on the rock

Stands alert on hindquarters

Mouth open, chirp, chirp, chirp

Reddish brown on nose, feet, haunches

White-speckled brown, black, and gray fur elsewhere

Front feet folded, puppy like

Chirp, chirp, chirp

Three half size ones join Mum

One is shy and leaves

Two look to where the danger

Chirp, chirp goes mum

One young rises on hindquarters

Looks at mum

Where is the danger, Mum

Boredom sets in

Young leave, Mum gives up

I walk on down the path

Past the rock and meadow

Columbian Ground Squirrel been seen

Good day in the Pasayten Wilderness

I rounded a corner on the trail in the Pasayten Wilderness to hear a persistent “chirp chirp”.  It took me several minutes to locate from where the “chirping” was coming.  The mother was standing amongst thick grass, looking straight at me.  Three young kept coming out on a rock, looking around and then scurrying back into the bush.  After about 5 minutes the mother, hurried down to the rock where she took up an upright stand and continued the “chirp chirp”.  The young joined her but appeared to not recognize me as a danger.  They kept looking around and staring at the mother.  It was great to watch.

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