Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hey, Chip!

Do you think he could get anymore seeds in his mouth? I love watching chipmunks. We had lots of squirrels at our house in California, but no chipmunks. They're tiny little critters and totally cute. The news is saying we might get 1-3 inches of snow tonight and it might get down to 8 degrees. I'll believe that when I see it. However, if the animals are any clue, the news might be right. The animals in our yard have been going bonkers. Between me chasing turkeys off my deck and the squirrels carrying on, it's never a dull moment. We saw this little chipmunk stuffing his pouches yesterday and I took a few pictures. There are many species of chipmunks and Montana is home to three chipmunk species -- the yellow-pined, the least, and the red-tailed. This particular one is a least chipmunk, the smallest of all. Here are some fun facts about least chipmunks ...

They are only 3 to 4 inches in length.
Least chipmunks weigh between 1 to 2 ounces.
They have 3 dark stripes on their faces.
They have 5 dark stripes on their backs.
Least chipmunks hibernate in winter, but only lightly.
They store food in their dens for winter.
They often steal from other animal's food supplies.
Least chipmunks eat seeds, berries, and insects.
Their predators include hawks, weasels, and cats.

Another fun fact is that a least chipmunk can stuff each of his pouches to be the same size of his head. If you think about that, it would be like seeing a 3-headed chipmunk! This little guy is getting close to looking like that. He fills up both pouches, runs back to his den, and then comes back for more. Every now and then he stops to nibble, but most of the time he's working. The squirrels don't do that. They just sit and pig out. The combo sort of reminds me of the ant and the grasshopper story, where the ant works hard all summer and the grasshopper is lazy. I guess the squirrels know I'll keep the feeders out when the snow comes. The chipmunks are smarter and will enjoy their seeds from their warm, cozy den. I can't say I blame them!


  1. I love watching chipmunks, too. So small and mysterious, they are! :)

  2. I miss chipmunks, there aren't any here in Cheyenne, only squeeerels! Cute pictures.


  3. They are totally adorable. All we have here in Waterville are the Eastern grey squirrels.But we used to have a pair of chipmunks who lived by our house when I was young. I even saved one from a cat's jaws once.They are fun to watch.


  4. Looks like he's got the mumps! Least wise it does to me...

  5. What a cute chipmunk! We have them in our yard, too and my puppy loves to chase them!

  6. I love these pictures! Chipmonks are one of my all-time favorite animals.
    I wish we had them around here. I look for them every time I visit back east.

  7. So cute! We have really different looking squirrels here in Korea with black hair on their head. I've tried taking pictures of them but obviously I don't have your talent!

  8. Cute pics! We have to save a chipmunk every now and then from the window well. The problem is they don't realize we are trying to help, so they are really hard to get out. It is time consuming. We are going to get covers for them so they don't keep falling in. I keep seeing them go under my front porch. I think they found their home for the winter.

  9. Too cute! We don't have any chipmunks around our house - lots of squirrels but no 'chippies.'