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iTwixie Studies Prairie Dogs: Week Ten!
May 6, 2010


This ermine (special name for a weasel when its fur is white) will soon turn brown because the snow in Colorado is melting.

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Just click on these links to catch up with what’s been going on with iTwixie’s prairie dog study:

Researcher Notes:
  • The baby prairie dogs are about 2.5 centimeters long (1 inch) at birth (about the size of a large grape), weigh about 20 grams (0.5 ounces), have no fur, and are bright pink. Babies of each litter will remain underground for about 5 and a half weeks after birth. Four of our females are still pregnant.
  • For the rest of the month, we will make notes about when the mothers enter and exit their burrows, and if other prairie dogs visit.  And, of course, we will watch for predations, or attacks, by American badgers and long-tailed weasels.
  • New avian (bird) sightings: dark-eyed junco, Harris hawk, long-billed curlew, marbled godwit, ringed-necked duck, willet, Wilson’s phalarope, and Wilson’s snipe.  We have now seen a total of 61 avian species at ANWR since our arrival on 05 March 2010.
  • We saw our first American badger today! It was about 500 meters south of us. We are hoping that s/he does not invade our colony.  We have observed Swainson’s hawks capture several Wyoming ground squirrels, but they have not yet captured any of our marked prairie dogs.

Now, it’s YOUR turn:

Time’s running out! All of the baby prairie dogs will be born soon, sooo…

Don’t forget to send in YOUR guess for how many prairie dog pups will be born this season! Just write your estimation below in the comment section! Remember there are about 34 female prairie dogs in this prairie dog town.

The girl with the closest estimate of pups born this season will get a prairie dog t-shirt. Woo hoo!


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