California Ground Squirrel - Spermophilus beecheyi
The California ground squirrel has brownish-gray fur with cream spots and flecks on its back. It has a darker gray color that runs from its head down to the middle of its back. Its shoulders and the side of its head are a lighter gray. It is about 18 inches long and has a white underside, a long bushy tail, and big eyes.
The California ground squirrel is found in south central Oregon, western Washington, and most parts of California.
The California ground squirrel is found in open areas including fields, pastures, and lightly wooded areas.
The majority of the California ground squirrel's diet is made up of plant parts like leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, berries. and fruits. Occasionally, it will eat insects and small animals.
Mating season is in the early spring, right after the ground squirrels emerge from hibernation. Gestation lasts a month. The female has five to eight babies in a nest in the ground or in a rock pile. The babies leave when they are about eight weeks old.
The California ground squirrel is diurnal, that means it is most active in the daytime. It lives in colonies, but the squirrels tend not to socialize with each other. Several squirrels may share a burrow, but they each have their own entrance. Burrows are made under a tree, log or rock. The California ground squirrel can climb trees, but it spends most of its time on the ground.