Hamsters are relatively easy to identify by the typical coat color. They usually have a yellow-brown top and a dark, almost black underside. On the flanks, on the cheek, before and behind the front legs are several white spots. The area around the muzzle and around the eyes is reddish brown, the feet and the tip of the nose are white. They have well-developed cheek pouches, the feet are provided with wide and well-developed claws. They have a 4-6cm long, almost hairless tail.
Most likely, they can be confused with the European ground squirrel. If the coat color is no help, then the bushy tail of the ground squirrel compared to the almost hairless tail of the hamster serves as a simple differentiator.
Hamsters inhabit mainly cultivated fields and their border areas, through which busy roads cut sometimes. They are crepuscular and nocturnal and are therefore often seen too late on roads when driving. They stand up when they can no longer flee. The dark belly coloration should look like the mouth of a predator, with the white paws as canines.