Calgary's critters: A hinterland who's who on wildlife in the city

Each week in May we'll be taking a look at some of the wildlife of all shapes and sizes that share our city. This week we take a look at rodents.

Have your own wildlife pictures? We want to see them

While they make be tough to see, Calgary is home to variety of rodents like this "Marilyn Monroe" porcupine pictured in the bottom right corner. (Submitted by Marlene Harris)

Each week in May we'll be taking a look at some of the wildlife of all shapes and sizes that share our city.

This week we look at rodents — a gnawing mammal distinguished by strong incisors and no canine teeth.

Eastern grey squirrel

While it comes in many colours, the most common is black in Calgary. The introduced species — the most dominant of its type in the city — is quite large and may have grey, black or brown coloured fur.

(Submitted by Shirley Otway)

Red Squirrel

A red squirrel, pictured in January, plots his next move. The city says Calgary is home to three species of tree squirrels: red squirrel, eastern grey squirrel and the rare northern flying squirrel.

(Submitted by George McBride)

Richardson ground squirrel

This is one very surprised Richardson ground squirrel, pictured here in Fish Creek.

(Anne Elliott/Flickr) (Anne Elliott/Flickr)

13-lined ground squirrel

This 13-lined ground squirrel, pictured in Calgary's Weaselhead, is known for its fancy striping down the back.

(Anne Elliott/Flickr)

Golden-mantled ground squirrels

While it may look like a chipmunk, the golden-mantled ground squirrel can be found in mountainous areas of western North America. This one was captured in Shannon Terrace in Fish Creek Park. 

(Submitted by Gwen Draude)


This prickly rodent does not shoot quills, but instead must touch their target and can be a painful experience for curious canines. 

(Submitted by Tara Little)


Beavers are often considered pests due to their seemingly destructive nature, but the city says they are highly beneficial to the environment as their dams create habitats for other wild species to flourish.

(Phil Smith/Flickr)


A large semiaquatic rodent that can be seen across North American, the muskrat has a musky smell and was once highly valued for its fur. This one, however, takes a break in the city's Carburn Park near the Bow River in southeast Calgary. 

(Anne Elliott/Flickr)

There are plenty of other rodents not pictured above, like the many varieties of voles and mice, so send us your pictures at if you have an image to share.

Stay tuned as we bring you more wildlife pictures throughout May as spring continues to ramp up. Have a picture you're particularly proud of from Fish Creek Park? Enter it into the Friends of Fish Creek Photography contest starting in July. 


  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified a golden-mantled ground squirrel as a chipmunk.
    May 14, 2016 1:14 PM MT