Fun Belding Ground Squirrel Facts For Kids

Chandrayan Choudhury
Oct 20, 2022 By Chandrayan Choudhury
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Belding Ground Squirrel Fact File
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

There is barely anyone on this planet who doesn't like squirrels, right! In this article, we will be covering facts about the Belding ground squirrel (Spermophilus beldingi), whose habitat belongs to the mountainous and sub-mountainous region in the Western United States.

They are small cute rodents who are overall gray in color with a cinnamon underbody and red-brown back.

They have a long body, and unlike other squirrels, these squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) have a little tail that has black, white, and red bands on it.

These squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) are well known for their defensive calls they make on seeing a predator. Females stay reproductive or receptive for around five hours a year, and that's why in those five hours, they mate with multiple males to confirm pregnancy.

Further in the article, we have more exciting and interesting facts in store for our readers. So keep reading!

And if you like reading animal facts, then do visit our Arctic ground squirrel facts and red squirrel facts pages.

Belding Ground Squirrel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Belding ground squirrel?

The Belding's ground squirrel (Spermophilus beldingi) is a type of rodent found in the mountains of western United States. They can be spotted in Oregon, Washington, Central Nevada, and places with high altitudes nearby.

What class of animal does a Belding ground squirrel belong to?

Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) belong to the class Mammalia, order Rodentia, and family Sciuridae. And their scientific name is Spermophilus beldingi, also known as the Urocitellus beldingi.

How many Belding ground squirrels are there in the world?

The Belding's ground squirrel is considered to be a Least Concern species living in the high altitudes of the western United States. The exact number count of this species is not available because of their range of distribution and widespread population.

Where does a Belding ground squirrel live?

Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) live in burrows in the mountains or places with high altitudes. They are found in the Alpine and Subalpine meadows. Some places that they also inhibit are pasture lands.

What is a Belding ground squirrel's habitat?

The Belding's ground squirrel (S. beldingi) inhibits the North American continent and can be found in the Western United States. They are well distributed in the fauna and can be seen in northeastern Oregon, parts of Washington, North California, South-west Idaho, Sierra Nevada, and North-western Utah.

Who do Belding ground squirrels live with?

Belding's ground squirrels (S. beldingi) are social animals and live in colonies for protection from their predators. Staying in a colony, they scavenge food and build burrows together for shelter purposes.

How long does a Belding ground squirrel live?

The Belding's ground squirrel (S. beldingi) spend their life happily by living in burrows and playing freely in the mountains. They might live up to an age of eight years (max). Thought their average life span is estimated between three to four years.

How do they reproduce?

In Belding's ground squirrels (S. beldingi), mating (reproduction) occurs from the month of May to June after hibernation. Both males and females (Belding's ground squirrels) are known to have multiple mating partners, which tends to increase the chance of pregnancy and genetic diversity.

The gestation period in these ground squirrels (females) lasts up to 22-31 days. After the act of reproduction, males disperse, and females do all the parenting for juveniles. The act of infanticide is also seen in these squirrel species.

What is their conservation status?

The Belding's ground squirrel is considered to be a species lying under the status of Least Concern. Their widespread population in the western United States makes it easier for visitors to spot them open in the wild.

Belding Ground Squirrel Fun Facts

What does a Belding ground squirrel look like?

Belding's ground squirrels are medium-sized rodent species that inhibit the Alpine and Subalpine meadows. These ground squirrels have a relatively longer body, short limbs, and small ears.

The body of these squirrels are mostly gray in color with a tinge of cinnamon on the underside and reddish-brown on the back. The small tail is flattened and has three color bands (black, white, red) on it.

The Belding ground squirrel has a long body with short limbs and tail

How cute are they?

Belding's ground squirrels are insanely adorable and cute like the Indian palm squirrels. Anyone will have a desire to pet them or cuddle with them.

Squirrels are different than other hamsters. Squirrels are more agile and have long furry tails. And in general, they are cuter compared to other rodents.

How do they communicate?

Belding's ground squirrels communicate through high-pitched loud call which serves as an alarm when they notice a predator. Belding ground squirrel alarm calls are of two types mainly.

One is the loud trill made up of rapid shrill notes. This call warns the squirrels of a terrestrial threat.

Upon hearing this call from one of the members, the squirrels rapidly move to a higher place and stand on their hind limbs to observe the terrestrial threat. If it seems to be near, they repeat the call once and run towards their shelter.

The second call sounds more like a powerful whistle. Upon noticing an aerial threat, these squirrels make this sound and immediately run towards the nearest shelter to seek protection.

All these defensive measures make it tough for hunting Belding ground squirrels.

How big is a Belding ground squirrel?

The Belding's ground squirrel is a medium-sized rodent found in the US. They have a relatively long body with small ears and a short tail.

The body length may vary between 9-12 in (22.9-30.5 cm), and their weight may range to the extent of 10.2 oz (290 g). The length of their small tail may vary between 1.7–3 in (4.3-7.6 cm).

How fast can a Belding ground squirrel run?

Belding's ground squirrels live in places that are surrounded by many terrestrial and aerial predators like coyotes and eagles. So for the defense mechanism, they have chosen high mobility. Belding's ground squirrels, like other squirrels, are very agile and can run with an average speed of 20 mph (32.2 kph) making it hard for their predators to catch them.

How much does a Belding ground squirrel weigh?

The Belding ground squirrels are medium squirrel species that can weigh to the extent of 10.2 oz (290 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no such specific name attached to the male and female ground squirrels. There is no special morphological difference between the sexes. Even though the difference shows in their behavior. One of the most common behavior differences is that the male squirrels are more ignorant and careless than the female squirrels.

What would you call a baby Belding ground squirrel?

Baby Belding's ground squirrels are commonly called puppies or pups. Baby squirrels are born blind and depend on the female squirrels (mothers) for food and care until they achieve their vision.

What do they eat?

Belding's ground squirrels have a wide range of diets (food) available in their habitats. The variety of their food ranges from seeds and nuts to insects and other vertebrates.

Even after having this huge variety, they love eating flowers and seeds the most. Belding's ground squirrels go in hibernation in their burrows during winter that's why they spend their summer eating and accumulating fat so that they can easily spend the hibernation period in their burrows retaining the temperature.

They also drink a lot of water to keep them hydrated.

The food these squirrels eat is similar to the food a Uinta ground squirrel eats.

Are they poisonous?

Belding's ground squirrel or any other squirrel may not be poisonous but can cause infection to humans if they land a scratch or bite. They generally destroy crop fields and fruits. And for this behavior, people used to poison them but now, in the US, it is strictly illegal to poison a squirrel.

Would they make a good pet?

Even though Belding's ground squirrels are cute and adorable, they can be very aggressive at times. Squirrels are meant to be free in their habitats, and keeping them in a confined environment can ignite their behavior. Rather one can arrange food and water for squirrels in their house yard and can watch them come and play and go.

Did you know...

Belding's ground squirrels carry a nepotistic behavior. Females provide food and shelter and other facilities only to their young ones and the juveniles who are related to them (babies of her sisters). Every squirrel has its own musk, and the females identify their relatives through that.

How active are they?

Belding's ground squirrels are active during the morning. They leave their burrows with the sunrise for searching for food. Throughout the day, adults keep themselves busy in maintaining their burrow and grooming themselves while the juveniles play and soak sunlight. They tend to fall back to their burrows by afternoon.

The Belding's ground squirrel's hibernation pattern depends on the climate condition and altitude. The hibernation can be as long as six to seven months from July-August to February-March depending on sex (males or females), age, altitude, and climate. These squirrels estivate and hibernate to avoid the extreme high and low climate temperatures.

How fast do ground squirrels reproduce?

In these ground squirrels, the process of reproduction (mating) starts after their hibernation ends. Ground squirrel males and females mate with different partners, and the females give birth to a single litter, though the average litter size in-ground squirrels are between 3-8.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these long-haired rat facts and golden bamboo lemur facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Belding ground squirrel coloring pages.

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Written by Chandrayan Choudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Chandrayan Choudhury picture

Chandrayan ChoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Skilled content writer Chandrayan has a passion for producing compelling and engaging content. With an excellent command of the English language and a talent for research and proofreading, Chandrayan has honed his skills through years of experience in the industry. Chandrayan is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Tripura University, demonstrating his dedication to the craft of writing. 

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