What is it?
Thanks for your question. Well, I assume it is some animal, but you're going to need to get more information for me to help you too much. How big is the hole? Here's a link to an article that requires that in order to identify what is living there. (I don't know where in Columbia County you are, but if you're out in the country, the possibilities are far greater than in town.)
Second, have you observed any damage to vegetable gardens, trees or bushes, or fruiting vines or canes? Knowing what your guest eats is often critical to identifying what you are hosting.
I can help you with control issues, but information isn't enough to get to that stage. Awaiting more information, or, if you want, you can take your picture into your county Extension office (505 N. Columbia River Hwy., St. Helens; phone 503-397-3462; M-F, 8-5.) Good luck!
the hole is about 1 1/2" in diameter with no mounding. There are 3 other holes nearby. I don't see any vegetation damage. We live in Warren, between Scappoose and St Helens. Semi country.
Thanks for the response, and sorry for the delay (out of town; no computer!)
I believe what you have living with you is some type of ground-dwelling squirrel, probably a California ground squirrel, which is prevalent in your county. I'm attaching this link to give you some information about their biology, habitat and feeding preferences. Ask an Expert had a similar question from Multnomah County a couple of years ago, and I can't do any better that the response found in this link.
Lots of reading, but at least you'll know who your guests are! Hope this is helpful.
Thank you. I'll do the homework
Good! BTW, your county has a great Master Gardener chapter--if you want to extend your knowledge!