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A few smaller animals from Yellowstone


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Others have done pics from Yellowstone and the American west so I am not posting any pictures of elk, wolves (we missed them) or bison from this summer's recent vacation to Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, Glacier NP and Waterton Lakes in Alberta, Canada, but a few smaller animals that are sometimes overlooked in trip reports. Kind of like the Bat-Eared fox or mongoose from Africa.


Yellow bellied marmot, not showing his/her belly. We went to the location in Yellowstone twice where they were supposed to be everywhere, but they were staying indoors when we visited, but this guy was beside the road.




This is something unusual to see. The American Badger is usually nocturnal and is native to the western USA and northern Mexico. Like the pangolin or aardvark, it is not often seen, but this one was out in the middle of the day and actively hunting for mice and small voles, it's prey. It was the animal highlight of the trip for me, in spite of 5 bear sightings and numerous other sightings of other large animals like moose, deer and elk. Like the African Honey Badger (haven't seen one yet in 6 Africa trips), it is a pretty ornery character.


More tomorrow- time for bed.

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A couple more badger pictures. The last one is of him (or her) pouncing on something and/or using those big claws to dig into something (I suspect he was invading a mouse/vole burrow to get out the occupants). We saw him do this several times and after each time he appeared to be chomping down on what he had caught. Quite a predator!







Unlike the American Badger, the following animals are commonly seen in the parks, beginning with the Least Chipmunk, which is seen everywhere, including running across the road in front of your car. Smaller than the eastern chipmunks we see where we live in the southeastern USA.




The grey ground squirrel is the Uinta Ground Squirrel, found in Yellowstone. But it lives underground, unlike our grey squirrels from home.




This one at first glance looks like a larger version of the chipmunk, but it is the Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel. We saw this one on a hike in Grand Teton NP . It was pretty friendly and approached near, making me believe it was used to being fed by hikers.




Finally, the Columbian Ground Squirrel was seen in Glacier NP and in the adjoining Waterton Lakes Park in Alberta, Canada. Distinctive because of the rufous color to the coat. These ones made their home right next to the fancy Prince of Wales Hotel that is a landmark in Waterton. The one on the right with the open mouth is making the distinctive squeak these animals make.



Edited by USAnimalfan
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Marmot picture was deleted for some reason. Here it is:



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Very nice US Animal fan. I think the chance of seeing American Badger in Yellowstone must be quite good. We saw one on our trip and my friend Abbie who returned this year also saw badger again.


If I may add to this thread, the best small mammal sighting I had, which I didn't realise at the time was this White-tailed Jack Rabbit, recently thought to be extinct in the Greater Yellowstone area:



P1460647 White-tailed Jack Rabbit by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

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I am so impressed with the badger. Maybe the marmot gave a whistle and ducked into its hole underground.


Major rabbit news, Kittykat!

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Didn't see any rabbits on the trip.


Not exactly a "small" animal like a marmot or squirrel, but if you have never visited the American west, you may think these pictures are of some African species. No, these are Pronghorn Antelope, the fastest land animal in North America. A little taller than a large dog, we saw some a few times at a distance in the parks, but actually saw more of them on cattle ranch land along US Highway 287 on our way driving from Yellowstone to Glacier NP. They are not hard to find in the Madison River valley area just south of the town of Ennis in southern Montana. They are a little skittish, but we were able to get close enough to a few to zoom in for pictures.






We didn't take a lot of bird pictures, but here are two that I liked. The first is a very common bird in the Rocky Mountains that we do not see in our part of the USA, which I think is the Black-biiled Magpie.




And we saw this one at the high Logan's pass in Glacier NP, feeding among Columbian Ground Squirrels near the snow that had not quite melted yet in late June at that high elevation. Yellow-headed blackbird:



Edited by USAnimalfan
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  • 2 weeks later...

Really like seeing some of the small and unusual creatures. Thanks for posting them.

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