These guys were found in Glacier National Park on a couple of different trips last summer. My oldest son took the above pictures while on a hike with his Papa to Hidden Lake. The guy below was taken while my husband and I were on our Red Bus tour.
The hoary marmot (Marmota caligata) is a species of marmot that inhabits the mountains of northwest North America. Hoary marmots live near the tree line on slopes with grasses and forbs to eat and rocky areas for cover.
It is the largest North American ground squirrel and is often nicknamed “the whistler” for its high-pitched warning issued to alert other members of the colony to possible danger. The animals are sometimes called “whistle pigs”
The word “hoary” refers to the silver-gray fur on their shoulders and upper back; the remainder of the upper parts have drab- or reddish-brown fur. The head is black on the upper surface, with a white patch on the muzzle, white fur on the chin and around the lips, and grizzled black or brown fur elewhere. The feet and lower legs are black, sometimes with white patches on the fore feet. Marmots have long guard hairs that provide most of the visible colour of their pelage, and a dense, soft underfur that provides insulation. The greyish underparts of the body lack this underfur, and are more sparsely haired than the rest of the body.
The hoary marmot inhabits mountainous environments from sea level to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) elevation, through much of Alaska, western Canada, and the extreme northwest of the contiguous United States. They live above the tree line, at elevations from sea level to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft), depending on latitude, in rocky terrain or alpine meadows dominated by grasses, sedges, herbs.
Hoary marmots are diurnal and herbivorous, subsisting on leaves, flowers, grasses, and sedges. Predators include golden eagles, grizzly and black bears, wolves, coyotes, red foxes, lynxes,cougars and wolverines….
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