Eastern Chipmunk

eastern chipmunk

Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

Identification:

The eastern chipmunk has a similar silhouette to the red squirrel, except for its tail, which is only a third as long its body. The light brown body, striped on the back by five black lines, is about half the size of a red squirrel. Due to the small size and quickness, chipmunks have a more harried manner.

 

Habitat:

Chipmunks often live at the edges of woodlands, in areas dry enough to make digging an easy task. They live in burrows with entrance tunnels up to 3 metres (3.3′) long. For this reason, they are sometimes called ground squirrels, since they not only store food underground but live there as well.

Feeding:

The diet of a chipmunk varies througout the year. During summer, they eat a wide range of fruit, including raspberries, chokecherries and blueberries. They also eat frogs, insects and occasionally bird eggs. In the fall, they concentrate on nuts and seeds, particularly those of beech, beaked hazelnut and oak. Chipmunks are known for their ability to carry large amounts of seeds and nuts at once in very puffed-out cheeks. The food stores are essential to survival through the winter and spring until a new season’s food becomes available. Chipmunks are the only one of our squirrels to have a form of hibernation during the winter months, waking often to feed on the summer stores in the sleep chamber.

Conservation:

Chipmunks enjoy some benefit from land clearing, as they tend to live on the edges of forests. On the other hand, as more houses are built in rural areas, they become easy prey for cats. They can be pests in gardens, but have a fairly large range and so are not usually present in large enough numbers to cause serious problems. Planting red oak, beaked hazelnut and American beech will provide welcome food sources for chipmunks.

Upcoming Events

Jul
17
Mon
9:00 am Nature Discovery Week 1
Nature Discovery Week 1
Jul 17 @ 9:00 am – Jul 21 @ 3:00 pm
This camp will introduce the children to the woods, stream and native tree nursery that surround our Nature Center. The campers will delight in learning to use all their senses to understand the natural world,
Jul
24
Mon
9:00 am Becoming a Naturalist Week 2
Becoming a Naturalist Week 2
Jul 24 @ 9:00 am – Jul 28 @ 3:00 pm
This camp builds on the camper’s ability to encounter and describe the natural world. They will use journals, collecting equipment, and take part in many fun activities that will expand their understanding of how to
Jul
29
Sat
10:00 am Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Jul 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
A walk and talk looking at the native and introduced mammals still found on PEI, as well as a brief look at some of the mammals we’ve lost. After a brief presentation, we’ll head off