The eastern chipmunk is active by day. It is extremely inquisitive and can be easily tamed. the eastern chipmunk spends much of the winter in its burrow, sleeping for up to 8 days at a time. it in ot a true hibernator, as it will awaken to dig into its hidden supply of nuts and seeds, stored during the summer and fall.
Habits: The eastern chipmunk lives throughout the eastern parts of Canada and the United States. It is most common in deciduous woodland and scrub, but is also inhabits coniferous forests and areas have been broken and stony ground. The chipmunk is not shy and frequently makes its home near human dwellings. For the most of the year the chipmunk lives alone, establishing and defending a territory surrounding its nest burrow. The size of a chipmunks territory depends on the availability for food. Even though it is a good climber, the chipmunk spends little time above ground. It forages on the forest floor and makes it nest underground, beneath rocks, fallen logs, or even sheds. The chipmunk continues digging its nest burrow all its life. As a result, burrow tunnels can extends for 30 feet or more and may contain several chambers and exits. the chip monk also digs shorter, simpler burrows for emergency exits and food storage.
Breeding: Chipmunks usually have two breeding season, from February to April and from June to August. During these periods the female chipmunk will be ready to mate for 3 - to 10 days and gives a series of calls known as chips. Male chip monks gather in a females territory and compete for the chance to mate with her. chipmunks do not establish pair bonds, and after mating the male leaves the female to bear and rear the young on her own.
After a 31 day day pregnancy, the female bears a litter of four or five offspring in her nest burrow. She suckles the young for about a month before she takes them on foraging trips. At 6 to 8 weeks of age the offspring are ready to leave the nest to find their own territories. Eastern chipmunks are fully grown after about 3 months; a chipmunk is not usually sexually mature until the following year.
Food & Feeding: The chipmunk is an
omnivore. It prefers seeds, nuts and acorns, as well as fruits or berries;
but it also eats slugs, insects, nestling birds, eggs and occasionally
mice or small snakes.
Chipmunks collect most of their food from the forest floor but will harvest nuts and berries directly from trees limbs if necessary. mot of the food they collect is stored in their burrows for the winter, through some may end up in other safe places throughout their territories.
In winter chipmunks use their keen sense of smell to find these supplies. Some hoards remain undiscovered, however, allowing some of the buried seeds to germinate in the spring. In this way chipmunks aid the propagation of those trees and bushes that bear their food.
Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle,
Length: Body & body 5 to 7 in, tail; 3 to 4 in
Weight: 2 to 5 oz
Sexual Maturity: 14 to 6 months
Mating: February to April, & June to August
Gestation: 31 days
Litter Size: 1 to 9; usually 4 to 5
Habit: Active in day, nests in burrows.
Diet: Nuts, seeds, berries, invertebrates, and occasionally nestling birds, mice, and snakes.
Life span: 2 to 3 years in the wild, 5 to 8 years in captivity.
Related Species: There are 22 chipmunk
species, including the Siberian chipmunk, Eutamias sibiricus
Distribution: The chipmunk is widespread throughout most of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada
Conservation: The chipmunk is abundant and coexists peacefully with man, seldom doing so much damage to crops that its numbers must be controlled. It is occasionally hunted for its fur, and some wild chipmunks may be captured for the pet trade.
Features of the Eastern Squirrel:
Winter food stores: Are nuts and seeds.
Nest Burrows: Can have more than one exit, usually hidden under tree roots or other ground cover. It provides safety from such predators as snakes and foxes, bobcats, and birds of prey.
Cheek Pouches: A chipmunk usually bites off any sharp edges from nuts or seeds before placing them in its elastic cheek pouches.
Did you know?
The eastern chipmunk has fewer grinding teeth than other chipmunks
A chipmunk can carry nine large nuts at a time: four in each cheek pouch and one between its teeth.
Cheek pouches can stretch almost to the size of the chipmunks hear.
The chipmunks stores only hard food that does not mold, such as nuts and cones.
A chipmunk may store up to 8 pounds of food in its burrows.