Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cheeky Chipmunk

I have to say that the chipmunk (Mr. Inski) is my favourite backyard visitor and camera subject (don’t tell Mr. Robin; you’ll hurt his feelings).



Chipmunks are small members of the squirrel family. They live 2-3 years in the wild, and 5-8 years in captivity.



The largest chipmunk is the eastern chipmunk, which grows up to 11 inches and weighs as much as 4.4 ounces. The smallest chipmunk is the least chipmunk, which grows up to 8.5 inches and weighs up to 1.8 ounces. Depending on species, chipmunks can be gray to reddish-brown in color with contrasting dark and light stripes on the sides of their face and across their back and tail.



There are about 20 species of western chipmunks and one species of eastern chipmunk in USA and Canada. They can be found in woodlands, forest edges, bushes, gardens, parks, around houses or cemeteries.



Eastern chipmunks mate two times a year, during early spring and again during the summer or early fall. There is a 31-day gestation period and two to five young are born in April–May and again in August–October. The young are sexually mature within 1 year.



Chipmunks eat insects, snails, nuts, berries, seeds, fruit and grain. They can carry nine nuts at a time. They are most active during the early morning and late afternoon.



Eastern chipmunks spend a lot of time gathering and storing food for the winter. They slowly gnaw away at their summer bounty throughout the winter.



Chipmunk are ground dwelling mammals. They construct burrows which can be up to 30 feet in length. Their home range may be up to 1/2 acre (0.2 ha), but the adults only defend a territory about 50 feet (15.2 m) around the burrow entrance.



Chipmunks are solitary animals but they will socialize during the breeding season and while rearing young.



For the most part, chipmunks, although susceptible to forest fragmentation, are not currently threatened.

And...they are adorable!

14 comments:

  1. I LOVE YOUR BLOG, Martha. I always learn something, get a wonderful laugh, a pleasant smile, and your photos are total eye candy. Thank you so much for this post on Chipmunks. I learned quite a bit and I agree, they are so danged stinkin' cute!

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    1. Bird, this is the sweetest comment :) I am so glad you enjoy my blog. I certainly enjoy working on it. My aim has always been to make it a fun place to hang out. After all, people have enough serious things to deal with in their lives. They need a place to unwind.

      Oh yes, these little critters are so darn cute!

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  2. Now a little peanut butter on that bread would have been perfect! lol
    Great photos Martha. I wish we had chipmunks here...only squirrels. That shot with a mouthful of bread was hilarious!

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    1. Ha ha ha...you are right, Jim! You know, I may just try it at some point and see what happens. I have a feeling a world war will start as all the critters fight for the goods.

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  3. That chimunk is totally charming! I'm disappointed that they live such a short time though.

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    1. I know. Their life is much too short. It's too bad because I would have loved for one of them to be coming around for many years.

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  4. I have one in my backyard. The cats and I watch him (or her) from the window each morning scurry out of his hole at the bottom of a tree trunk and run around looking for food. Adorbs.

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    1. My cats do the same thing. They probably wish I would let them out, so they can grab him. I don't think so... :)

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  5. Martha, I love your pictures! You have captured some wonderful images of this little guy! I hope it's OK to pin a picture to my Animal Cuteness Pinterest board. Now I just need to decide which is the cutest picture!

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    1. No problem! Go right ahead. In fact, I'm so flattered that you would share an image of mine :)

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  6. My wife puts peanut butter on pine cones which the squirrels seem to love. They run off with the pines cones as soon as they see it.

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    1. Ooooh...I love that idea! I'll have to try it out.

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  7. Oh my gosh, Martha...those are the cutest pictures of Mr.Inski! The ninth one down made me laugh out loud.

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