Characteristics

What Makes a Chipmunk a Mammal?

Chipmunks are mammals because they give live birth, they are warm-blooded, they have a vertebrae, and they are covered in fur.


Eating Habits

These animals are mainly active during the day, spending most of their time searching for food. They eat bulbs, seeds, fruits, nuts, green plants, mushrooms, insects, worms, and bird eggs. They are omnivores. 


Communication

They have several bird-like chipping calls that give them their name. Eastern Chipmunks use one of two chattering calls: a trilling chip-chip-chip repeated very rapidly (about 130 trills per minute) and a lower-pitched, slower chuck.


Mating

Eastern chipmunks mate in early spring and again in early summer, producing litters of four or five young twice each year.


chipmunk skullTeeth

Chipmunks have constantly growing teeth that wear down by chewing.







Fur

Chipmunks have reddish-brown fur on their upper parts with 5 dark brown stripes and contrasting light brown stripes along their backs and light underparts. They have a tawny stripe that goes from their whiskers to below their ears and light stripes over their eyes. They have a dark tail.
See pictures on right.




Tracks

chipmunk tracksEastern chipmunks have 4 front and 5 back toes. They have claws, but the claws don't always show up on their tracks. Their front feet are roughly 1/2 inch wide and long, but can be a bit larger. Their back feet will usually be just a little bit longer (at least .7 inches). Chipmunks are so light that their tracks rarely show fine details. Chipmunks run on their toes, so the two heel pads of the front feet rarely show up. The hind feet have no heel pads. Their erratic track patterns show the hind feet registered in front of the forefeet.


chipmunk scatScat

The droppings are somewhat round and average to inch long.



chipmunk

chipmunk

chipmunk

chipmunk

standing chipmunk