Groundhogs vs Rockchucks

Happy Groundhog Day!

Did you know the Groundhog, (Marmota monax), also called Woodchuck, one of 14 species of marmots (Marmota), are closely related to our beloved Rockchuck?

Rock Chuck
A Rockchuck peers out from behind a rock at Tetherow.

Facts about Rockchucks (Marmots)

Rockchucks (Marmota flaviventris) — also known as Marmots — are a type of large ground squirrel that are found in various regions of Oregon, including the Cascade Range, the Coast Range, and high-elevation meadows. There are two species of marmots found in Oregon: the hoary marmot and the yellow-bellied marmot.

The variety that makes Tetherow home is the Yellow-Bellied Marmot. They live in burrows and are known for their social behavior, often living in small colonies and are frequently seen eating and lounging together.

Rockchucks in Central Oregon are active during the spring and late summer months, and spend the winter and mid-summer hibernating in their burrows. While awake, they feed on a variety of vegetation, including grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs.

Handsome fella.

Will I see Rockchucks at Tetherow?

Due to their behavior and habitats, Rockchucks can often be seen out and about at Tetherow. It is important to remember to respect the Rockchucks and their habitats, keeping a safe distance and minimizing any disturbance to their natural behavior. They can be devious when it comes to the golf course, especially due to their burrowing habits. Our golf course team takes great care to encourage them to reside in the rock outcroppings and other natural areas around the property.

While the Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog came out today to look for his shadow, our local Rockchucks are still months away from making their appearance. Keep an eye out in April or May for these chubby critters in the natural areas of the resort, and around the Bend area as a whole!