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Eastern Chipmunk Characteristics
- It weighs 2 - 5 ounces (57 - 142 grams).
- The length of this animal from head to toes is 5 - 7 inches (12.7 - 17.78 centimeters).
- The length of this animals tail is 3 - 4 inches (7.62 - 10.16 centimeters).
- It has Reddish-brown fur over most of its body.
- There is White fur on its stomach.
- It has white stripes with black borders on its sides.
- There are light stripes above and below the eyes.
- It has a black stripe on its back.
- It has big pouch-like cheeks made of skin that stretches. This animal can stuff its cheeks with food in order to carry it to its burrow for storage.
- This rodent has four toes on each of its front feet. The back feet have five toes each.
- This Chipmunk has two more front teeth than other chipmunks.
General Facts about the Eastern Chipmunk
- This animals scientific name is Tamius striatus.
- The Eastern Chipmunk got its name from the "chip-chip" sound it makes.
- They are generally solitary animals.
- This animal inhabits a wide range in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. It can be found as far south as Mississippi and as far west as North Dakota. Mainly inhabiting deciduous forest and the edges of woodlands. It prefers locations with rocky areas and shrubs to provide protection from predators.
- Eastern Chipmunks can be territorial and do not like other chipmunks entering their territory. The range of their territory is about half an acre which often overlaps the territories of other chipmunks; they are mostly defensive about areas closest to their burrow.
- This small creature has a diet consisting of many different foods including nuts, berries, worms, seeds, fruits, bird eggs, insects, and snails.
- Although it does not hibernate the Eastern Chipmunk does spend most of its time in the winter in a state of torpor (a very deep sleep) waking up periodically to feed.
- Female Eastern Chipmunks usually have one litter of babies a year. The average litter is between three and five babies.
- These animals spend the majority of their time during the day in spring, summer, and fall gathering and storing food for the winter.
- They live in underground burrows which can be very elaborate. Their burrows typically have multiple entrances which they conceal by covering with leaves, sticks, and other materials. It fills the burrow with soft material such as grass and leaves.
- Bobcats, hawks, raccoons, foxes, snakes, lynx, and domestic cats are all predators of this animal.
- The average life span of the Eastern Chipmunk is three years in the wild. In captivity they can live up to eight years.
- In suburban areas these animals population can get out of control due to the abundance of food from numerous sources including bird feeders. In these areas they can be considered a pest because their burrows can damage gardens.