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Photo: Richardson's ground squirrel looks excited for Spring

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Our photo of the day comes from Calgary, Canada.

Named for the Scottish naturalist Sir John Richardson, the Richardson's ground squirrel (Urocitellus richardsonii) is also known as the Flickertail or Dakrat. North Dakota's nickname of the "Flickertail State" comes courtesy of these prairie dwellers, and gave rise to name Dakrat, a portmanteau of "Dakota Rat."

Like most ground squirrels, these guys and gals spend much of their lives slumbering. In fact, adults are active for only around 110 days a year, according to the National Museum of Natural History. Males emerge from hibernation in March, and if this photo by Tony LePrieur is any indication, they look eager to get to work.

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