Meet the Yellow-Bellied Marmot AKA Rock Chuck. This colony lives on a farm and is protected by the farmer. Speaking with the farmer he told me the colony is out and about and where to find them.
Off I went and made me a nice spot to sit down and just watch. Did not take long for the "barking", to start. However after a short time curiosity took over the warning barks!
Other then the obvious barking Yellow-Bellied Marmots came movement as to what all the fuss was about!
Soon more then one started appearing ! As I was going through these photographs I even noticed more of them then I did when I was photographing them!
The pups started appearing in doubles or triplets. Sticking real close to each other, but wanting to see what I was too!
They weigh more then some cats do at ten to eleven pounds. Males being the biggest and he takes on more then one female. What up to four females that he has in his family and defends his wifes and kids. The colony seamed to have a population of ten or more. They were running and hiding then popping out to see what was going on! Their burrows are deep too! The hibernation chambers are supposed to be deeper then just the ones they use to hide in.
The only reason I got these photographs like I did is because I found a place to sit and chill out. These Yellow-Bellied Marmot are protected. I know the farmer and his crew do a good job of checking out who is on their property for I had the boss man and his hand come to me! Of course a phone call was made and the permission I had gotten was verified!
I think some day I will drop off a framed piece at the main farm home for him and his family? I do not know the farmer real well however the brief interaction with him told me he likes the wildlife that is on his land! I do get some very nice photographs and experiences on this farm.
This Yellow-Bellied Marmot seamed to me to be the biggest I photographed? I say "he", for he looked like he has been in a scrap or two!! These Yellow-Bellied Marmots can live up to fifteen years! Though it is said the pups have a hard time making it to a year old.
This photograph for me was fun! There are two Yellow-Bellied Marmots in the above shot. Can you find the second one? Not going to tell you where it is, this is a example of how well they blend in!! I finally showed Guy for he looked and looked. After you see something it is hard to unsee whatever ha Heck there could be more then two...... I just see two.
This spot seamed to be a good spot for some were running into the rocks from other places. So I figured the males must be around here and where I got what I thought was the biggest Yellow-Bellied Marmot on this day. Of course by this time I was gone from the house for gosh three hours? I was getting tired but waited in this spot.
Another popped out! Right now there are three checking me out!
Now there is four! The barking by now has stopped. I could not get my lens out far enough for more of the rocky area to be photographed without giving away the location. I promised the farmer I would not allow anything in the photographs to give a location. This of course protects the animals I photograph.
Sorry to say these animals are one of the critters that are slaughtered in our area for just being there. They do eat plants up! Though on the flip side the also eat insects!! However it is their burrows that cause problems. They are not small animals! I have said it once I will say it again, farmers in our area pay people to pick up rock! This is a job and duty of farm workers. Something needs to be done with these rocks, this farmers put the rock here. Perfect location for the Yellow-Bellied Marmot.
Their territory consists of what five acres give or take.... we do have a railroad line that comes through, though if you give a creature like this a good place to live without threat this means all these that are living in this rock that nothing is done with, the Yellow-Bellied Marmots are not burrowing under the railroad tracks...... this is my theory anyhoo.
We are up to five now!! All checking me out! The eldest one is the one who is being very still, and until you see it..... The way the others look, and are acting I feel those are pups ie young.
Here all five of them again, you can see the two on the top left a little better? Guy claims if I had bread they would probably had came right up to me haha. Guy gets to see first hand my interaction with the wildlife and he is always shacking his head haha
I did not use all the photographs I uploaded to this album, you are more then welcome to check out all the photographs. Make them bigger , you can view them in a gallery, share them and embed them. Some other options.
Thank you for coming by and checking out my time with the Yellow-Bellied Marmot.