Cute and impressive at the same time, the marmots always attract attention.
He reminds me of one of our cats – the monorail kitteh :)
The marmots hibernate more than half a year. They survive a very long winter on fat reserves and emerge from hibernation slimmed down considerably. In summer they have to regain all this lost fat. So if not sunbathing most likely you’ll see them munching on the flowers and grass. Here, she’s eating lupine pods:
Another way to communicate is famous marmot whistle. The way they do it, though, came as a surprise to me. Maybe I didn’t wait them to fold their lips as we, humans, do, but surely I didn’t think they open their mouths as if to roar!:
I tried to make a video with my camera but it came out too shaky. So I put a few pictures and a sound together:
Now, the next photo shows a few important things at a time.
First of all, if you’ve never seen a marmot you probably don’t know how big they are.
Secondly, you can see how tame these cute animals of Mount Rainier are.
And thirdly, if there’re signs asking to not step of the path and to not approach wildlife, all around the place… well, people don’t like to read them.
You might not see it well on the picture above but there’s a burrow right there, to the left of the hikers. The burrow owner patiently posed and waited for the group to leave, after which he returned to work:
He worked hard for 2 minutes :)
Unfortunately my phone couldn’t get all the snorting and grunting sounds that came out of the burrow.
Hoary Marmots (Marmota caligata) of Mount Rainier