Chipmunk

Name

Eastern chipmunk

Scientific Name

Tamias striatus

Characteristics

The eastern chipmunk is so-called due to its distribution across eastern parts of the United States of America. Like other chipmunks, it has distinctive stripes down its head and back. Eastern chipmunks have 5 dark stripes separated by 4 lighter cream-coloured stripes.

Although chipmunks are very competent climbers, they spend most of their time on the ground and are also capable of excavating tunnels underground.

They are diurnal (active during the day) and spend much of their time foraging for food. Chipmunks have large food pouches in their cheeks which they use to store food.

Female chipmunks have a gestation period of about 31 days. They usually give birth to a litter of 3-5 young, which are born hairless and blind. Chipmunks grow to full size after only 3 months and, if they are born in the spring, can be ready to breed the same summer. However, most individuals do not breed until the following year.

In the wild, they usually live between 2-3 years, but have been known to live as long as 8 years in captivity. 

Diet

Chipmunks are omnivores. They mostly eat nuts, berries, acorns and insects.

Size Fact

The eastern chipmunk is the biggest species of chipmunk.

Food Fact

Like squirrels, they store food to eat during the winter months.

Fun Fact

It is believed that chipmunks were given their name due to the ‘chip-chip’ sound they make!

IUCN Red list

Least concern.

Where do I live?

North America.

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