Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sign of Spring - Chipmunk emerges

Looks like Spring is here! This little chipmunk showed up in my backyard yesterday, filling up on sunflower seeds.

Facts about the chipmunk:
**The chipmunk is a small rodent in the squirrel family.
**Predators are the fox, weasel, bob cat, badgers and snakes. Birds such as hawks, eagles and owls are also enemies but the worse enemy of a chipmunk is the house cat.
**Communicates by both sound and gestures. They can be lough, shrill "chip-chip-chip" sounds to softer and slower "chuck-chuck" sounds. When combined with body gestures such as tail waving, they effectively communicate with others chipmunks.
**Diet consisted of seeds, nuts, fruit, insects, worms, mushrooms and when need be, small mammals or birds.
**The chipmunk lives in burrows made of an intricate series of tunnels.
**Food is stored just below the nest.
**Breed in early spring. There is a 30-day gestation period. Litter size ranges from 4-6 naked and blind young.
**At about 10 days, the young chipmunks begin to grow hair and their eyes open at 33 days.
**Chipmunks mature within five months and will breed the following spring.
**During late summer, the chipmunk begins to collect and store seeds for hibernation.
** Late November, chipmunks go into their burrows, where they spend the winter.
**Chipmunks are one of the first animals to emerge in early spring.
Enjoy :) Coppertop

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