Cheery Chipmunks!

Hello everyone!  Today I have something a little different to share.  That will be, some information about these little chipmunks I keep talking about on my blog.  Most of you have never seen a chipmunk, mainly because they don’t live where you live.  They are a beautiful, friendly and cheery little animal.  They have large black eyes, bushy tails that are 3 to 5 inches (7.5 – 12.5 cm) long, and black, white and brown striped backs.  There are 25 species of these cute little animals and all but one live in North America.  Only the Siberian chipmunk lives elsewhere and that is central Russia, northern China and even northern Japan.  Plus it has now spread through much of Europe due to people having them as pets back in the 1960s.  But they are still not plentiful in Europe.

This is Sylvester in early spring of this year. He was killed a couple weeks ago, run over by a car.

Chipmunks are the smallest members of the squirrel family.  Depending on species they can range in size from 4 to 11 inches (10-27.5cm) long.  The ones around here are generally around 5 inches (12.5cm), not including the tail which can be another 4 or 5 inches (10-12.5cm) long.  Chipmunks  can live in many different habitats from forest to desert to suburban neighborhoods.  They seem to love living near people and can be become quite tame quickly.

This is Rusty.

They seem to need 15 hours of sleep/day which leaves them only about 9 hours to forage around looking for food to eat and store for the next winter.  In this climate they begin storing food for winter once they are active in the spring.  They are very energetic animals, they don’t sit still for very long.  In warmer areas they will live in old logs, bushes or in piles of rocks.  In colder areas like this they build burrows underground.  These can be quite large, going as deep as 6 feet (nearly 2 meters) with tunnels reaching 30 feet (up to 10 meters) in length.  There are also separate rooms for food storage, sleeping area (which is kept very clean and lined with whatever soft material it kind find), a garbage room and even a bathroom.

Rusty on my knee.

Baby chipmunks are born blind and hairless and are about the size of a jelly bean.  There is usually four in a litter.  They are normally born in early summer, here from late May to mid June  After 6 weeks the young are on their own, making their own burrow and collecting food for the winter.  In warmer areas they will sometimes have two litters per summer.

Rusty, showing off the size of his cheek pouch.

They are not fussy eaters, they love berries, seeds of all kinds, nuts, peanuts, mushrooms and insects.  They have huge check pouches to carry their food and these pouches can expand to 3 times the size of their head.  They partly hibernate in winter, but because they don’t put on fat like some animals, they need to keep waking up during the winter to eat.  So it’s not really considered true hibernation but rather torpor.  In this area the chipmunks begin this torpor by late September or early October.

Rusty again, he likes having his picture taken.

So there you have a quick guide to chipmunks, my amazing little friends.  Many of you have asked about chipmunks so hope this helps.  Oh, they also have a short life span of 3 to 4 years.  Well, that’s it, enjoy the info and the pictures of these cute little chipmunks.  I hope you all enjoy your weekend and God bless!

Steve and Muffin.

© 2019 Steve McLeod.

53 Comments on “Cheery Chipmunks!

  1. Thanks Steve*. Honestly, that was my auto-correct and I hit a button on my phone as I’m waking up. My apologies!!!

    We have these critters around. They’re so quick! We were once walking through a state park and I kept hearing this noise and it got closer and closer. I couldn’t see anything. Was it a bear?? Then a few Collins Chipmunks popped out. They were so noisy and sounded so much louder than seemed possible lol. 😂😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, got it! Thanks for reading Peregrine! They can be very loud for such a tiny animal that’s for sure! But so cute and nice to have around. I hope you have a great weekend!😃😺🐿

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I for one, have never seen a chipmunk in real life. Thanks for sharing all these interesting facts about them. Wow, they sound like people with their different rooms in the burrow! Rusty sure can store a lot in those cheeks! And again, rip Sylvester. Have a great day, Steve. Say meow (hi) to Muffin for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cool post.
    most rodents can be cute until they invade where us humans live. lol
    of course they love being around people as there is food and places to live.
    since i live in a semi-rural area, i have several types of rodents living “with me.” as long as they stay in their area and not cause any issues in my area, then all is fine. but the rabbits make a mess on the hay bales (poop and pee on them as they eat) even though they can reach the hay on the ground and there is PLENTY extra on the ground they have to sit on the hay bales, too.
    the mice and field rats (voles too) like to enter my tack room, and garage. i keep no food in the garage and the food in the tack room is in sealed containers. certain mice in my area have been known to carry hanta virus.
    the ground squirrels, moles and gophers make holes everywhere which can be a safety issue.

    so, as long as my fellow animal neighbors stay in their place we remain on good terms. but, if they venture into my space, they have to go. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree they can be a problem sometimes. I had a red squirrel get in the attic of an old house I lived in one time and she had to go. Never had a problem with chipmunks though. They are ground dwellers so don’t normally go into buildings. And their entrance hole is so tiny it wouldn’t be a problem even for kids. But it’s usually in a well hidden spot anyway. Mice here can carry the hanta virus too which is why I really don’t like them coming in my apartment, though Muffin takes care of them quickly enough! Thanks for taking the time to read today Buddy!😃😺🐿

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Chipmunks are rare in our city…saw one in spring, but not since that time…interesting info…and they are really cute !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Steve! Such cute pictures🥰 And yes i love to know about chipmunks and this is such a beautiful piece of information. Loved reading it 🤗. Sadly i just found a piece of their hair near my car 🙄 My cat just had its dinner 😲 realising its chipmunk dinner, i was feeling sad, becoz i had only few chipmunks running here and there and i lost one🙄. Hope your weekend is great 🤗✨✍️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for stopping by Simon! Yes, cats can get them real easy unfortunately. My weekend is going great so far, thanks! I hope you are having a good weekend as well!😃😺🌞🌳🐿

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you dear Steve for sharing all these facts that I knew nothing about actually 😊
    I wish I was a chipmunk to sleep 15 hours 😂
    It’s so sad to lose Sylvester 🙁 hope Rusty is okay! How the drivers are so reckless!
    I’m amazed how you can differentiate them, they are the same for me 🙄😸
    It’s obvious how friendly they are and they’re so cute as well 😊
    Glad you shared these information with us and keep us posted about Rusty 🌞🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading this and you’re welcome too! Sleeping 15 hours wouldn’t be bad! 😴But for me I would like to be like the giraffe and only have to sleep 20 minutes!🤪 Could I get a lot done!!🤸‍♂️In real life it’s easier to tell them apart, there is always little differences about them, sometimes just the way they act. Yes, I will let you know about Rusty, hope he comes back.😃😺🐿

      Liked by 1 person

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