Montana Outdoors

June 14, 2012

Visitors

Filed under: Animals — Tags: , — montucky @ 12:00 am

We often have animal visitors come to call and always enjoy seeing them. This Cottontail (I think it was him) stayed around here most of the winter, living I believe, under a deck of firewood logs in our canyon.

Cottontail

Cottontail

While fairly common in the high country (there is a mountain just north of there named after them), this is the first Yellow-bellied Marmot that has ever visited our yard. He liked the flowers.

Yellow-bellied Marmot

Yellow-bellied Marmot

48 Comments »

  1. Beautiful photos, but I don’t like to see these critters around my flower beds.

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    Comment by Sue — June 14, 2012 @ 12:32 am

    • We’ve had a few cottontails around and they don’t seem to do much to the flower beds, but this marmot would not be welcome as a long-term guest. Of course the deer have done about as much damage as can be done already anyway. Last week they ate our only azalea bush.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:19 am

  2. Our dogs check out the pipe that runs under the driveway first thing out of the house. No telling how many times the rabbits have escaped by slipping inside this pipe. Marmots must like rock most of the time we saw them out west they were on a rock.

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    Comment by Grampy — June 14, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    • This is the first marmot that I’ve seen around the place. They do best at high elevations on rocky peaks and that’s better for them anyway. They would not be popular in people’s yards.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:21 am

  3. Flying squirrels and marmots. Way Cool!

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    Comment by Homestead Ramblings — June 14, 2012 @ 4:57 am

    • One evening a skunk wandered through too. I hope he kept going for a long ways!

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:21 am

  4. Adorableness! Like Beatrix Potter-land.

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    Comment by FeyGirl — June 14, 2012 @ 5:13 am

    • The little animals are really cute to watch and we can put up with a few problems for them to stay around. The most destructive are the deer and chipmunks.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:23 am

  5. We never see rabbits here. Even before the coyotes were around, they were not. My husband used to see snowshoe hares a lot when he lived up in the woods near the Quebec border, though.

    I just looked in my New England and was surprised to learn that the our woodchuck is called the Eastern Marmot. It is much heftier than your marmot, that is for sure.

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    Comment by sandy — June 14, 2012 @ 6:31 am

    • There is a very good population of showshoes around this area, but they never come near inhabited areas. A week ago on a little forest road I had two come right up to my feet when I was standing motionless. Their new summer coats are gorgeous!

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:26 am

  6. We have lots of cottontail. I see them almost every morning on my walk. They aren’t a bit skittish and will just stay where they are and eat and glance at me once in a while. I can imagine that if I had a dog with me they wouldn’t be so bold.

    I don’t think I have seen a marmot since I was in Colorado and that’s quite a while ago. This one obviously is a gourmet since it prefers the flowers as opposed to the ordinary plants in it’s natural environment. Great pictures.

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    Comment by anniespickns — June 14, 2012 @ 6:38 am

    • I hope this guy doesn’t acquire a taste for flowers! There used to be many more cottontails around here. Maybe their numbers are increasing again. They have about a 7 year cycle.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:28 am

  7. Both of them look good and healthy, so they aren’t starving. I just hope they aren’t looking fit at the expense of your gardens.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — June 14, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    • I’ve seen the rabbits feasting on a large patch of clover in our side-yard and that’s fine with me. The marmot just made the one showing: he could be a problem.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:29 am

  8. Our yard’s been ‘crawling’ with critters lately. Deer, racoon, rabbits and a huge mother groundhog with a baby tailing behind. All of course, checking out hubby’s garden! They’re oh so cute but not when they eat our tender vegetable plants!

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    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — June 14, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    • I’ve had to put up screening for the deer. I just had to re-do it around the garden now that we’ve planted. They are real problems. Coons come by upon occasion, and we don’t have any groundhogs around.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:31 am

      • Yep, we’re going to have to put up some kind of screening too. The critters have finally found the garden…we knew it was too good to last! 😀

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        Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — June 15, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  9. Super photos of mountain critters. The resolution of these shots is terrific! That must be some piece of glass you were using!!!

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    Comment by dhphotosite — June 14, 2012 @ 7:30 am

    • It’s a very nice lens by Nikon. 70-300mm VR. I love it except when I’m hiking I don’t like the extra 2 lbs.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:32 am

  10. I loved watching the critters when I lived in the woods — going about their daily business — I found it entertaining.

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    Comment by allbymyself09b — June 14, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    • The critters are our major form of entertainment and I can’t think of a better one. We have an area of about 2 acres in a small canyon near the house that we have left completely natural for the animals. I intercede only when there appears to be a lion in there.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:34 am

  11. Great photos. I understand the cotton tail is becoming rare in some areas… I’ve read a couple of articles that worry about them, but around here they seem to be plentiful enough. What really cuts our gardens down around here are groundhogs. They come in and it looks like “clear cut” right down tot he ground.

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    Comment by snowbirdpress — June 14, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    • I’m sure groundhogs would be big problems. We don’t have them in this area at all. I think the rabbits are on the upside of their cycle at the moment. I’ve noticed that there are fewer coyotes around at present and haven’t seen a fox for awhile. In the mountains around here there are lots of snowshoes now despite the presence of quite a few of their predators.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:40 am

  12. I guess not having a garden makes it easier for me to appreciate the critters. It’s not for a lack of trying though – just not trying hard enough!

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    Comment by jomegat — June 14, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    • Last year I found some cheap nylon screen that is surprisingly effective keeping deer out of things but it doesn’t work for the small animals. I think the only solution for them is to plant more than they can eat.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:42 am

  13. So cute, both of them. We don’t even have rabbits in central Phoenix, too urban, I guess, but with all our cats, I guess it’s for the best.

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    Comment by Candace — June 14, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

    • Yes, Phoenix has just gotten too big to allow for rabbits. When I lived int the valley it was in the outskirts and we would see a few there. I’m sure those neighborhoods have grown so much by now that things have changed there too.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  14. Those are lovely photos. Rabbits are not yet here where I live, but they are spreading slowly from the coast towards the North. Marmot I have never seen in live.

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    Comment by Sartenada — June 14, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    • Marmots are interesting critters but they would not make good house guests. Rabbits though are cute to see although they do eat a lot of plants. We consider it worthwhile to grow a few extra things though in exchange for getting to see the small animals.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  15. we have had a family of rabbits hanging around all spring. We saw one today in our backyard-they are staying under our shed. Our dog has yet to catch them though they sure have worried her!

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    Comment by skouba — June 15, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

    • They are really cute, but in large numbers they can be a problem. Near the town where I grew up there used to be (at the beginning of the 1900’s) lots of jack rabbits. I remember my Dad saying that those rabbits fed many, many families during the great depression.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

  16. but I’ve never seen a marmot!!

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    Comment by skouba — June 15, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

    • I think their range is further to the north and west, on up into Canada. There is a peak called Marmot Peak a few dozen miles northwest of here and I plan to stay one night there later in the summer on a hike along Sundance ridge. Intuitively, I would think there would be a few around there.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  17. Too funny… I snapped a picture of a baby cottontail today. He walked right up to me while I was lounging. Yours looks much healthier though. That yellow bellied thing… I’m not sure about that one, but those are great pictures!!

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    Comment by kcjewel — June 15, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    • Rabbit behavior is often very strange and I think that gets them into big trouble some times. I have no idea where the marmot came from or where he went, but I wish him well.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

  18. Aww, what cute little visitors!

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    Comment by TheDailyClick — June 16, 2012 @ 4:41 am

    • Most of our visitors are pretty cute, although I’m very mad at the deer because they just ate our azaleas.

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      Comment by montucky — June 16, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  19. What a precious bunny! Year long resident at that. I haven’t seen a Yellow-bellied Marmot before. What an interesting looking and cute creature it is. The Marmot didn’t seem to mind you be close by snapping photos.

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    Comment by Anna Surface — June 16, 2012 @ 5:20 am

    • I llike having the bunny around. Actually, the photos of the marmot were taken through our kitchen window.

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      Comment by montucky — June 16, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

  20. Sweet creatures. You live in Eden, Montucky!

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    Comment by Kim — June 16, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    • We sure enjoy it here, Kim.Wouldn’t trade for the world!

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      Comment by montucky — June 16, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  21. Lovely critters. The only mammal I see in my garden, apart from the children, is the occasional mouse in the composter!

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    Comment by Finn Holding — June 16, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    • We see many species here from moose to mice and enjoy nearly all of them. We even had a wolf wander through a couple of years ago. I’m not so pleased with the skunks, although they just seem to wander through and do no harm (and don’t stay).

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      Comment by montucky — June 16, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

  22. That’s the first time I’ve seen a yellow-bellied marmot- cool!

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    Comment by Watching Seasons — June 19, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    • They aren’t exactly rare, but I haven’t seen them down at the valley level before. I like them and especially like to hear their alarm whistle. It’s loud!

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      Comment by montucky — June 19, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  23. You have nice photos of them. We have the same two out here on Long Island. Many rabbits and squirrels.

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    Comment by mike — June 19, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

    • Thanks Mike! I think the cottontails are pretty widespread, but I didn’t know the marmots went that far east. Cool!

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      Comment by montucky — June 19, 2012 @ 10:13 pm


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