There is probably no chance that we will ever see the Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel around our house. We live on top of a rocky ridge along the Little Maquoketa River near the Mississippi River Valley. These little ground squirrels live in burrows that are 4.5 - 6 m (15 - 20 feet) long and about 30 - 60 cm (1 -2 feet) deep. No way they can dig deep and long enough in the rocks here.
I found them out in the open land and spent quite some time last weekend to watch these little critters and try to shoot some images. Their diet ranges from grass and weed seeds to caterpillars and grasshoppers, and even mice and bird flesh are on their menu (source: Field Guide to Mammals, National Audubon Society). This one here was chewing on dandelion blooms.
The Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels remind me a little bit of prairie dogs, because they often stand upright and survey the surrounding area for any sign of danger. Ones I came a little too close and the squirrel dived down into its burrow and warned the rest of the family with its bird-like trill.
These little critters are ideal to practice shooting with a long lens, like the SIGMA 50-500, f/4-6.3 DG HSM. I like the last image the best, not only because of the pose of the animal but mainly because how the ground squirrel is separated from the background