Last week it looked like the neighboring ranch was raising ground squirrels and this week there are no squirrels to be found. The neighbor isn't treating for those nasty diggers, so where did the ground squirrels go?
Blame it on Hibernation or Estivation
The squirrels didn't actually disappear; California ground squirrels may go dormant two times a year.
Hibernation - when most of us think of hibernation, bears come to mind. In California, like some bears, ground squirrels usually hibernate during the winter. If the weather is mild, like in Southern California, they may skip hibernating. The amount of time spent underground varies. Some emerge from their burrows at the end of January and others wait until March. Often the male ground squirrels emerge 10 to 14 days before the females.
Estivation is like hibernation but in the summer time. When it is a super hot or dry time, the ground squirrels typically stay in their burrows until temperatures ar…