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
6
Mon
9:00 pm Summer Camp: Young Ecologists Se...
Summer Camp: Young Ecologists Se...
Jul 6 @ 9:00 pm – Jul 10 @ 3:00 pm
Young Ecologists: Session One This camp will begin to introduce the campers to the amazing complexity of our native Acadian forests. They will dissect owl pellets, take part in forest restoration planning and plantings and
Jul
13
Mon
9:00 pm Summer Camp: Nature Discovery Se...
Summer Camp: Nature Discovery Se...
Jul 13 @ 9:00 pm – Jul 17 @ 3:00 pm
Nature Discovery: Session One 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
Jul
20
Mon
9:00 pm Summer Camp: Becoming a Naturali...
Summer Camp: Becoming a Naturali...
Jul 20 @ 9:00 pm – Jul 24 @ 3:00 pm
Becoming a Naturalist Session One This camp focuses on encountering and describing the natural world. Through the use of art and other hands-on outdoor activities, they’ll expand their understanding of life in the woodlands, waterways,
Jul
25
Sat
10:00 am Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Jul 25 @ 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
Jul
27
Mon
9:00 pm Summer Camp: Bushcraft Ecology A...
Summer Camp: Bushcraft Ecology A...
Jul 27 @ 9:00 pm – Jul 31 @ 3:00 pm
Bushcraft Ecology Ages 12-14 These campers will delight in learning survival skills such as one-match fire making, shelter building, rope making with natural fibres, and tracking animals. Touching on plant and tree identification, campers will

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