Nature

Last Stand on the Prairie

prairie dogs; black-tailed prairie dog

These two took up residence near a cattle shelter. They are on watch to be sure it’s safe to let the youngsters out.

Prairie dogs have a language all their own. They’re not really dogs, they are really part of the marmot family, but they bark and yip like dogs, which is how they got their name.

prairie dog jump-yip

These prairie dogs are doing a “jump-yip” which is a call they give. It travels through the colony like watching the “wave” at a football game. Only it is far more charming!

Sophisticated research has found their language to be quite complex, as you can learn about in this Scientific American blog that is consistent with what I’d learned many years ago.

prairie dogs

One parent is a sentry while the other one expands the burrow.

They give bark-like warnings to their colony-mates when they see a predator approaching, and that predator can be described uniquely. The colony’s call for a man is different, for example, upon seeing a man than it is when it sees a man with a shotgun or rifle.

prairie dog kiss

Baby prairie dogs kissing!

I’ve seen prairie dogs routinely since I moved to Colorado many years ago, and I find them to be a precious part of the ecology. I was disappointed to learn that 98% of their former size has been lost to car traffic, farming, ranching, and housing developments.

black-tailed prairie dogs

Here’s a family of two adults and six babies!

They are fighting to keep their species a member of the ecology, and they have been losing. They are wonderfully animated figures that are a major part of the prairie food chain.

prairie dogs

Parent is bringing bedding that he/she took it into the burrow.

They feed the foxes, coyotes, hawks, and eagles. It’s a wonder that they have endured as much as they have. Luckily they are pretty prolific, and the babies are precious.

prairie dog puppies

Black-tail prairie dog puppies

As spirit guides, prairie dogs signify communication and family, the traits most closely affiliated with them.

black-tailed prairie dogs

Parent feeding puppy grass

This post is to celebrate the black-tailed prairie dogs in my area and a salute to a hardy species. They’re an underdog in the fight against urban growth, but my bets are on them.

prairie dogs, Rocky Mountain foothills

You can see the prairie dogs are located on the prairie that lead up to the foothills to the Rocky Mountains.

Click on the pictures, below to see them large. Those little squirts are really cute!

#prairie dog, #nature, #Colorado, #animals, #spirit guides, #spring

16 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s