It’s that time of year. This pair of Ground Squirrel pups emerged hungry from their birth burrow on the west side of the park. They nibbled on a variety of green stuff but only got deep into seeds. They had the technique down for stripping off the sheath and chomping on the seed inside. Given time enough they would clear the park of foxtails, which after all are nothing but barley, a highly nutritious grain.
One of the pups found its head a landing site for a fat green fly. This was probably a common green bottle fly (Lucilia serata) or kin. The pup would do well to keep this kind of visitor far away. The female may lay her eggs in the hair of live animals, causing myiasis, a condition where the eggs hatch inside the host animal’s body. Not good.
This is the second set of squirrel pups I’ve seen this year, after years of not seeing — or not noticing! — any at all.