Hey! A couple of you got it spot on this week! No, it's not a Gerbil, it's an Ord's Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys ordii)! No yuk name, obviously. These little folk are highly adapted to being desert critters (something I'm not!) and badland specialists, and aren't found north of Calgary, AB.
They're normally nocternal, and we'd catch them at night, and when we'd do trap checks in the morning, we'd weigh them, and then put them someplace cool until we could release them. We wanted to catch other small mammals, like Pocket Mice and Wood Rats. Here's a little guy who hid in my shadow, because he didn't like the sun.
Kangaroo Rats are so neat to watch run. Sadly, I don't have any good video, and YouTube doesn't have anything useful either. When they get up to speed, they can jump about a meter-per-stride.
Yakuleget! I know I'm a mammal guy, but here are some birds. All of them swimming or wading around in the small lake I have by my home. These are last year's birds. There's three species in here. Can you name them all? The picture is small and fuzzy, but I took it from ~400 yards.