Facts about Chipmunks

, , Leave a comment


1.Ground Squirrels

Chipmunks are a kind of ground squirrels found in the wild. There are about 25 chipmunk species and 24 of these species have their origin in North America. The remaining one species originated from Asia. The palmer chipmunk species is among the vulnerable species that might become endangered in the foreseeable future.


Chipmunks mostly inhabit woodlands, deciduous forests, alpine forests, gardens and shrubs in deserts. They are considered to be vermin due to their ground burrowing habits. However, some chipmunks make homes in bushes, nests and logs. Chipmunk burrows can measure 3 feet in width and 30 feet in length. They divide their burrows into three sections namely resting area, nursery and food storage chamber. Their burrows are clean and well-kept with well hidden entrances.


Chipmunks are the tinniest members found in the squirrel family. The smallest species has a length of between 7.2 and 8.5 inches and weighs between 1.1 and 1.8 ounces. The largest chipmunk species weighs a maximum of 4.4 ounces and attains a length of up to 11 inches. Chipmunks have a gray-brown or red fur with dark and light stripes on the head, sides and back. They have fluffy tails that measure between 3 and 5 inches.


As omnivores, Chipmunks feed on both animal and plant based foods. They tend to gather their food from ground areas under logs and rocks where they are able to hide from their predators. Generally, chipmunks feed on nuts, insects, berries, fruits, seeds and grains. They stuff food in their cheek pouches and carry it to their storage chambers. Though they hibernate during winter, they have to periodically get up and feed on seeds and nuts.


Chipmunks have numerous predators because of their tiny body size. Some of their main predators include foxes, hawks, weasels, coyotes, snakes, owls, bobcats and raccoons. They are solitary animals that spend most of their time collecting and keeping food ahead of winter. They tend to ignore each other except during the mating period in spring.

6.Cheek Pouches

A chipmunk’s cheek pouch can stretch up to 3 times the size of its head. The cheek pouch is used to transport food from the fields to the burrows. A single chipmunk can carry food weighing 8 pounds each year. Chipmunks are generally territorial with their territories stretching to about half an acre. They are speedy and lively critters that defend their territories fiercely in the event of intrusion.

7.Vocal Animals

Chipmunks are extremely vocal and produce noises that are similar to those produced by birds. Chipmunk noises can he heard during mating seasons when females are seeking to attract males. Their noises can also be heard when they sense danger.


Chipmunks become sexually mature when they reach one year and have a gestation period of 30 days. Mating seasons for chipmunks is between February and April. Often, females give birth to a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 babies. At birth, chipmunk babies are the size of a bumblebee and they are often naked, blind and helpless.

9.Animation Characters

Chipmunk’s pudgy cheeks, glossy, large eyes, bushy tails and stripes have caused them to become favorite animals among animators. These features have seen them star in a series of Hollywood films. Chip and Dale are two of the chipmunk cartoon characters that Walt Disney created.

10.Life Span

In the wild, chipmunks can live for two to three years. Both male and female chipmunks take care of young ones until they are ready to leave the burrow at 6 weeks.

Tea Time Quiz

[forminator_poll id="23176"]

Leave a Reply