Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wild World Wednesday ~ the Chipmunk

We live in a wild world. Today we’re visiting the United States and Canada to take a look at the chipmunk. Be prepared, this is one cheeky little fellow.

They’re Not Chips or Monks!
There is about twenty-one different species of chipmunks living all over the United States and Canada. These rodents are closely related to the squirrel; however, chipmunks are smaller (8-10 inches long) and have black and white ‘racing’ stripes down their grey and reddish colored backs.
Wild World Fact…chipmunks make a range of noises from a chuck chuck to a higher pitched chip chip sound.

Chipmunk Chambers
These hard-working rodents prefer to make their homes under the ground. They dig out long tunnels that lead to a sleeping chamber. Here there’s a soft bed made from leaves, grasses or the fluff from seed heads. They also dig out another area to keep food in. Since chipmunks stay under the ground all winter long they need to collect lots of food when the weather is warm.
Have you ever stuffed so much food into your mouth at once that your cheeks puffed out? Chipmunk cheeks are extra stretchy so they can do just that.
The chipmunk is constantly searching for his favorite foods of nuts, berries, acorns and seeds, so when he finds it he loads up. Once his cheeks are full, he quickly bounds back to his den to empty his haul. The chipmunk may have to travel a ways from his den to find food, so these built in ‘storage compartments’ come in handy.
Wild World Fact…chipmunks have also been known to eat strawberries, grapes, apples and bugs.
So the next time you’re at a park, in the woods or even in someone’s backyard, keep your eyes peeled and your ears perked. You never know one of these cute little rascals might just pay you a visit.


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