Yellow-bellied Marmots, Yellowstone National Park

Photo of yellow-bellied marmot.

On the Look-out

Yellow-bellied marmots are one of the largest rodents in Yellowstone.  They are about 20 t0 28 inches in length and weigh from 3.5 to 11 pounds.  They are found at all elevations in the park and hibernate for up to eight months a year at the higher elevations.

Photo of a Marmot.

Always Looking for Enemies

A colony consists of one male, several females and young of the year.  They breed shortly after emerging from hibernation.  Their calls include a loud whistle and a scream when predators are nearby.  They are preyed upon by eagles, coyotes and grizzlies.  The preceding info is based on the Park Service’s 2005 edition of “Yellowstone Resources & Issues.”

Photo of a marmot at Sedge Bay.

Marmot near Sedge Bay

Marmots can be found throughout the park.  Look for rocky areas with grass nearby.  One good spot is the rock outcropping across from the Sedge Bay picnic area.  A couple of years ago I was photographing them there when they started screaming about something behind them.  They were a little above me so I couldn’t see what they were agitated about.  They took cover in the rocks.  I picked up my gear and turned to go back to my truck which was parked on the road’s shoulder about 50 feet away.  As I did so a black wolf disappeared into some cover about 40 feet from me.  He had apparently walked between me and my truck.  A guy pulled up and asked if I saw the white wolf above the rock outcropping.  That was the wolf the marmots were screaming about.  I said “no,” but I spotted it shortly thereafter.  It was going in the opposite direction of the black wolf.  For a link to that blog click here.


About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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4 Responses to Yellow-bellied Marmots, Yellowstone National Park

  1. Erika says:

    The marmot looks so aborable!
    We are going to yellowstone this August. I hope to spot a lot of wild animals.
    I am very interested to know what camera and lense you usually use to capture the wildlifes?
    P.s. it was nice meeting the other day at the gallery. Guess what, I did remove the WordPress from the address recently. 🙂

    • Jim Coda says:

      Hi Erika. It was nice meeting you as well at the gallery. Congrats on re-doing your address. The lens I use the most for wildlife is the Canon 500mm f/4. The camera body I use the most is the Canon 1D Mark IV. You’ll have a great time in Yellowstone.

  2. Alan says:

    Love these guys. Great pics Jim.

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