Chippy Chipmunk ~ Tamias striatus

These guys are my adorable little bird seed removers. No one likes weedsΒ  under the feeders πŸ™‚

The genus name of Tamias is Greek for treasurer, steward, or housekeeper, surely because of how this little critter cleans up all the seeds on the ground, storing them for winter dining. The common name may have been spelled chitmunk from the native Odawa (Ottawa) word jidmoonh, meaning “red squirrel”.

Their average size is 2-6″ inches long, with a 3″ inch tail and weigh less than a pound. Chipmunks will live to an average of 2 – 3 years in the wild, however can easily double that in captivity. Sadly, these cuties are on the bottom of the food chain. Chipmunks will gather food along the ground, most times staying out of wide open spaces. They prefer areas with underbrush, evergreens, and downed trees, where they can hide from predators like bird of prey, foxes, coyotes, and snakes.

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Clearly, this is a little boy chipmunk πŸ˜‰Β  ||Β  A group of chipmunks is called a scurry.

These little engineers like to dig two types of burrows: shallow burrows for fast get-aways while foraging, and deeper burrows where the entrance can be up to 20′ feet long, where they nest, store food and hibernate. Chipmunks rarely venture further than 1,000 feet from their burrows at any time.

They feed on insects, nuts, berries, seeds, fruit, they also eat other creatures such as insects, baby birds, frogs and bird eggs, which they stuff into their stretchy cheek pouches and and bring back to their burrows to store.

I used to hear these chirps and think they were birds.

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

 

36 thoughts on “Chippy Chipmunk ~ Tamias striatus

  1. A “scurry” of Chipmunks – what a perfect word. πŸ™‚
    And funny, I thought exactly the same on listening to their chirps; they sound like birds!
    They seem like a fancy cousin – dressed in a dinner suit – to our common grey squirrels. πŸ™‚

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  2. We have an adorable chipmunk that spends its days on our front deck tormenting our dog. He has several entrances to his burrow around the deck that he uses for a quick escape from the dog’s barking. Great post and photos!

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    • Thank you! Yes, these guys are free entertainment for our pups also. The boys like to trap them in the drainage pipe and cry that they won’t come out to play with them. My boys don’t understand the chippys don’t want to be squeeked by being squished! 🀀

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  3. Those little “guys” (chipmunks) lost their cuteness in our garden when we saw one stalk and attack a baby chickadee! We intervened, but have not forgotten that incident! Murderous little rodent! πŸ™‚

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    • I can understand that. I’ve not seen one of these attack anything, however I’ve seen a 13 line ground squirrel get a sparrow.
      I try to block the eating habits of many animals I like, as many cute things eat other cute things. All I can say is that I’m glad I’m not on the menu!

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    • Yup. Many veggie animals do need a dose of protein here and there. Some wait to come across carrion, but others will take matters into their own hands.
      They don’t get into my garden, but did get into my strawberry pots. I’ve started greasing the table legs they sit on… Ha ha! The little guys keep sliding down about 1/4 the way up. No more strawberry stealing!

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  4. There are no chipmunks where I live but I think there might be some in far west Texas. I don’t know about all the wildlife- too much area to cover but I should study up on that and get educated. I like the pics and the video vey much. They are such cute little boogers.

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    • I think I like watching them as much as my boys do! I think many of them are getting used to me, as they don’t run away as fast as before. They may be thinking, “Hey! There’s that big, pink ape that gives us peanuts and sunflower seeds! ” πŸ˜‰

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  5. My daughter and I really enjoyed this..both the photos and the info. We don’t have chipmunks in Australia. They’re so cute!
    Hope you’re having a great weekend.
    xx Rowena

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