Animals

Eastern Chipmunk Facts

Eastern chipmunk facts for kids about the burrow dwelling species
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Eastern chipmunk (scientific name Tamias striatus) is a type of rodent which is mainly found darting on trees and in yards. The word 'chipmunk' itself means the one who descends trees headlong. They are very cute creatures with enchanting eyes, bushy tails, stripes, and cheeks. They prefer to be around woodlands and bushes. These pocket-sized rodents need sleep of about 15 hours per day. Chipmunks avoid becoming meals by being quick, nimble, and close to their homes. They can perform a speedy escape and are very attentive while they are out. Although these small animals are known to be very cute, they are natural loners.

The diet of eastern chipmunk is omnivorous that features earthworms, snails, slugs, seeds, and nuts. They sometimes prey on bird eggs as well as small mammals like mice. The cheek pouches of the eastern chipmunk are used to store extra food. Are you looking for some reliable and interesting facts about the eastern chipmunk? Read on for some interesting facts on this species and thereafter, check out our other articles on gopher facts and nutria facts.

Eastern Chipmunk

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Slugs, earthworms, snails, fruit, vegetables

What do they eat?

Omnivores

Average litter size?

4-5

How much do they weigh?

0.14-0.33 lb (0.06-0.14 kg)

How long are they?

12 in (30.5 cm)


How tall are they?

1.6-2.4 in (4-6 cm)


What do they look like?

Reddish brown fur

Skin Type

Fur

What are their main threats?

Deforestation and habitat loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Deciduous wooded areas

Locations

Eastern North America and South-eastern Canada

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammalia

Scientific Name

Tamias striatus

Family

Sciuridae

Genus

Tamias

Eastern Chipmunk Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an eastern chipmunk?

An eastern chipmunk (tamias striatus) is a rodent that is a type of squirrel. It belongs to the squirrel family. These chipmunks like to lead an ordinary and solitary life and don’t really get along well with other animals.

What class of animal does an eastern chipmunk belong to?

It belongs to mammals (mammalia). This means that female chipmunks have the ability to give birth to their young ones. Chipmunks have bodily features just like humans, with the presence of hair, fur, and the female who nourishes their babies by milking them.

How many eastern chipmunks are there in the world?

There are 25 species of chipmunks living in the world. They are not considered endangered as of yet. In fact, there is an increased population of chipmunks in the world in spring.

Where does an eastern chipmunk live?

Eastern chipmunks inhabit areas with woods, river valleys, and deciduous forests. Chipmunks are found throughout the eastern United States and south-eastern Canada. They have hidden homes with a camouflaged entrance hole, which are used for food storage as well.

What is an eastern chipmunk's habitat?

The eastern chipmunk habitat is beech-maple forests with bushes. They inhabit deciduous and coniferous forests. They avoid swampy areas.

Who do eastern chipmunks live with?

They may live together in colonies, but they are not social animals. Mostly, they are solitary animals, but in their mating season, spring, they come together to mate.

How long does an eastern chipmunk live?

The lifespan of an eastern chipmunk is of less than 2-3 years. But, there are some chipmunks that are seen to live for about eight years.

How do they reproduce?

Eastern chipmunks reach sexual maturity in one year after their birth. This species mates and breeds twice a year, usually in early spring. After 30 days of gestation, a litter of 2-8 young are born. Eastern chipmunks are solitary creatures until their mating and breeding seasons arrive. Twice in every spring, males (bucks) and (does) mate and go their separate ways again. After raising the offspring, female chipmunks let their off-springs go. Their gestation period lasts between 30-35 days. After completion of the gestation period, a young chipmunk is born. The weight of the young new born at the time of birth is around 0.1 oz (2.83 g). The young chipmunk becomes independent after two months of the birth.

What is their conservation status?

The eastern chipmunks' population is considered to be the Least Concern species by the IUCN Red List. The eastern chipmunks' habitat and population are not endangered as of yet.

Eastern Chipmunk Fun Facts

What do eastern chipmunks look like?

Eastern chipmunks have reddish-brown fur on the upper body and small stripes with a white belly. It looks similar to a squirrel, but it has five dark stripes and a few white ones. Their front feet have four toes. They are very cute animals with enchanting eyes, bushy tails, stripes, and chubby cheeks. There is not much difference between the appearance of males and females.

Eastern chipmunks have  pudgy cheeks, large, glossy eyes, stripes, and bushy tails.

How do they communicate?

This animal species uses a range of chirps and body language to communicate. They are very protective of their homes, so they use loud chirps and body language to express their concerns towards their territory. Female chipmunks have a mating call for using high pitch vocals. They do not sing as our animated chipmunks do, but they have a very loud and sizable vocal which includes chips, alarm calls and chucks.

How big is an eastern chipmunk?

The eastern chipmunk range of height is 1.6-2.4 in (4-6 cm) while the overall size is in the range of 3.0-4.5 in (7.6 - 11.4 cm).

How fast can an eastern chipmunk run?

Eastern chipmunks are very fast and nimble. They run for about 21 mph (33.8 kph). They have a very quick and steady escape when confronted by a predator, so that they do not become a meal for another animal.

How much does an eastern chipmunk weigh?

The eastern chipmunk weighs around 0.14-0.33 lb (0.11-0.14 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males are known as bucks, whereas females are known as does. In common parlance, males and females are known as male eastern chipmunk and female eastern chipmunk as well.

What would you call a baby eastern chipmunk?

Babies of eastern chipmunks are called kits, kittens or pups. They need a lot of care and help. It takes 4-6 weeks for kittens to develop and be on their own.

What do they eat?

Eastern chipmunks have an omnivorous diet. They like to eat a wide variety of foods and their diet includes seeds and nuts, fruits, worms, insects, green plants, bird eggs, and mushrooms. These creatures are very picky-eaters. They love to include nuts, berries, plant seeds, mushrooms, insects, and lizards in their diet too. These creatures have the ability to store extra food in their cheek pouches.

Predators of eastern chipmunks are hawks, dogs, foxes, owls, bobcats, and cats.

Are they dangerous?

They are cute and rarely aggressive. They look as if they are harmless, but they carry a variety of diseases with them. They are destructive to plants.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they are cute, and their behavior is catchy. Chipmunks love seeds.  But, chipmunks are wild and will hardly allow you to cuddle, pet or touch them. When they are born, baby chipmunks are blind, hairless, and furless. They need a lot of care and help. It takes 4-6 weeks for kittens to develop and be on their own.

Did you know...

Eastern chipmunks sleep at night; these animals are active only during the day and sleep at night. They need a 15-hour sleep every day.

The eastern chipmunk's hibernation

The Eastern chipmunk population hibernates in winter. Unlike bears and their behavior, they do not sleep for months. They wake every few days to settle their body temperature, eat the food they’ve stored in their burrows, and urinate. Their hibernation starts in late October when they fall asleep with a slow heartbeat and low body temperatures till March.

Why is the eastern chipmunk endangered?

The decline in eastern chipmunk population is because of human activities in their habitats and hunting by predators like cats.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these field vole facts, and paca facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our eastern chipmunk coloring pages.

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