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

May
25
Sat
10:00 am Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
May 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
This workshop will look at on creating diverse, beautiful and functional hedgerows and windbreaks using a variety of native plants. Participants will learn about which plants are best, spacing, planting and maintenance.
Jun
1
Sat
10:00 am Shelter-building for Kids
Shelter-building for Kids
Jun 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Take your fort-building skills to the next level! Get outside with the whole family and learn more about shelter do’s and don’ts and how to hang a tarp securely. Let your wild creativity fly by
Jun
8
Sat
10:00 am Plants of Prince Edward Island w...
Plants of Prince Edward Island w...
Jun 8 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Kate, one of the province’s foremost biologists, will focus on many of the plants, both native and non-native, that you commonly encounter, plus a look at lots of rare trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns. You
Jun
9
Sun
2:00 pm Debunking Forest-Wildlife Myths ...
Debunking Forest-Wildlife Myths ...
Jun 9 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
We are thrilled that Bob is coming over again from Nova Scotia. The well-known CBC Radio Noon guest and advocate for nature throughout the region will explore some of the myths surrounding forests and wildlife.
Jul
27
Sat
10:00 am Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Jul 27 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Come on out and learn about the native and introduced mammals found on PEI, as well as a brief look at some of the mammals we’ve lost. After a brief slideshow, we’ll head off to

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