Yellow-bellied Marmot (Utah)

Photographing wildlife in their natural habitat is a true privilege, and capturing the essence and beauty of a Yellow-bellied Marmot in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah is no exception. In this blog post, I will share my experience of photographing this fascinating species.

Yellow-bellied Marmot
Yellow-bellied Marmot

The Yellow-bellied Marmot, also known as the rock chuck, is a species of marmot found in the western United States and Canada. These ground squirrels are known for their distinctive yellow belly and are often seen basking in the sun on rocky outcroppings.

For this particular photograph, I set up my camera and lens on a beanbag draped over the rolled-down window of my vehicle. My friend Mia McPherson was my driver and guide, and she was the one who spotted the Yellow-bellied Marmot as it was basking in the sun. The use of a beanbag was crucial in this scenario as it helped to steady my camera and lens, ensuring that the image was sharp and free from blur. The soft material of the beanbag also helps absorb any vibrations or movements, making it an essential tool for wildlife photography.

As I watched the Yellow-bellied Marmot basking in the sun, I patiently waited for the perfect moment to capture its behavior.

The Wasatch Mountains of Utah are a beautiful and diverse natural habitat that is home to a wide range of wildlife, making it an ideal location for wildlife photography. From majestic elk to curious marmots, there is always something to see and photograph. The Yellow-bellied Marmot is just one of the many fascinating wildlife species that can be found in this area.

In conclusion, photographing a Yellow-bellied Marmot basking in the sun in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah was a truly special experience. Capturing the behavior and beauty of this fascinating species in its natural habitat is a reminder of the importance of preserving our natural world. The thrill of capturing these images, combined with the breathtaking scenery of the Wasatch Mountains, makes this a moment that I will always cherish.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: RF100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Wasatch Mountains (Utah)
  • Date and Time Taken: June 7, 2022 (09:54 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 1/800
  • ISO: 320 (Auto)
  • Exposure Compensation: -1/3 EV
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

Here are a couple of Uinta Ground Squirrels I photographed in Utah: Uinta Ground Squirrel Feeding and Baby Uinta Ground Squirrels