On a recent (almost birdless) trip to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood (Birding Oregon p. 74) I enjoyed watching these Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels. While they might not qualify as “charismatic mega-fauna,” these little rodents are always a pleasure to see. Even a grizzled old birder can appreciate cuteness when it presents itself.
Sometimes confused with chipmunks, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels lack stripes on the face and down the center of the back. They get their name from the buffy coloring around their neck and shoulders.