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Eastern Chipmunk

Overview

This squirrel-like mammal inhabits deciduous forests and brushy areas. The name chipmunk comes from the noise "chip, chip, chip" commonly made by these furry animals.

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Description

Chipmunks are reddish-brown in color with five black stripes on their backs. These stripes are separated by brown, white, or gray colors. Their pouched cheeks are used to store and carry food.

Reproduction

Unlike others of the squirrel family, the Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) has two breeding seasons; one in February through April and the other June through August. Four to five young are born after a gestation period of about 31 days. The young do not appear above ground until about six weeks of age.

Habitat & Behavior

Eastern chipmunks usually inhabit deciduous forests and brushy areas. They live in shallow burrows in the ground that they dig by carrying away dirt in their cheek pouches. They often conceal the several different entrances and exits with leaves and rocks.

Eastern chipmunks are omnivorous and typically eat seeds, fruits, meat, eggs, insects and bulbs.