‹‹ Colorado Postcards


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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
There’s breathtaking scenery aboard the 9-mile ride aboard the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the 14,115 feet summit of Pikes Peak, Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Travelers can also spot marmots.
Yellow-bellied Marmot

High in Colorado’s mountains, listen for the call of the whistle pig. Better known as the yellow-bellied marmot, it’s cousin to the groundhog — evolved to live at high altitudes. In the fall, the rodent’s yellow chested body is plump from a summer feasting on plants, occasional bird eggs and insects, to double its weight to more than 10 pounds, extra reserves to get through eight months of hibernation 15 feet underground, when their body temperature drops to near freezing.

Some scientists say the marmot actually benefits from climate change, with snowmelt earlier in the season making for a hibernation that ends a little sooner, and a longer summer of eating — all the better for a whistlepig building up reserves to snooze through the next underground.

Colorado Postcards

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.