Eastern Chipmunk

The name chipmunk is derived from an Ojibwe word that means “one who descends the trees headfirst.”
Eastern Chipmunk Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Tamias striatus
Eastern Chipmunk Physical Characteristics
Yellow, White, Dark Brown, Grey-Brown
two to eight years
Top speed
18 mph
2.33 to 5.30 ounces
Eastern Chipmunk Distribition

” The eastern chipmunk is the biggest of the chipmunks!”

To humans, chipmunks are tiny and adorable. The eastern chipmunk is the biggest of these cuddlesome rodents, and it can be subjugated and make a pretty good pet regardless of its brief life expectancy. The starlet Elizabeth Taylor had a pet chipmunk and also created a publication regarding him. In the wild, chipmunks are antisocial and a little bit predaceous on smaller sized animals such as worms and bugs. On the various other hand, every sort of tool to big North American predator has chipmunk as component of its diet. Continue reading to find out more regarding the features and way of life of the eastern chipmunk.

4 Unbelievable Eastern Chipmunk Realities!

Below are 4 incredible truths regarding the eastern chipmunk:

  • Biologists think that fifty percent of all chipmunks in a provided location were birthed the very same year that they’re being examined.
  • A chipmunk can gather as numerous as 165 acorns in someday.
  • The chipmunk’s cheek bags are adjustments that enable it to lug great deals of food to its burrow at once. They are so elastic that they can expand to 3 times the size of the animal’s head.
  • The rodent does not get in correct hibernation yet a state called torpor. Throughout torpor, the chipmunk’s heart price can go down to 4 beats a min. Generally, its heart price is 350 beats a min. Its body temperature level additionally dives from regarding 94 levels to 40 levels Fahrenheit.

Scientific Name

The eastern chipmunk comes from the Animalia kingdom, the Chordata phylum, and the Sciuridae family to which most squirrels belong. Its scientific name is Tamias striatus Tamias is Greek for “guardian” and striatus is Latin for “candy striped.” The Tamias component most likely describes the chipmunk’s propensity for caching seeds to eat throughout the wintertime. There are 11 subspecies, and they are:

  • Tamias striatus doorsiensis
  • Tamias striatus fisheri
  • Tamias striatus griseus
  • Tamias striatus lysteri
  • Tamias striatus ohioensis
  • Tamias striatus peninsulae
  • Tamias striatus pipilans
  • Tamias striatus quebecensis
  • Tamias striatus rufescens
  • Tamias striatus striatus
  • Tamias striatus venustus


The recognition of the eastern chipmunk is so simple that it’s appealing to believe that every person recognizes what it resembles. Acquainted features include its tiny dimension, however at approximately 12 inches (including its tail) the eastern chipmunk is the biggest of the chipmunks. It weighes in between 2.33 to 5.30 ounces.

The shades of its hair are red- brownish with 5 dark brownish red stripes down its back, with the lengthiest one discovered in the facility of the back. These dark red stripes are divided by white red stripes, and there are additionally lighter red stripes around the chipmunk’s eyes and on its face. The red stripes quit prior to the spot of shade on the rump, which in addition to its bigger dimension sets apart the eastern chipmunk from others and is a help in its recognition. Its bottom is white, and the spot on the rump is red or yellow-colored.

Various other features are tiny ears, large, brilliant shiners, and 2 cheek bags. It has a level tail that is fuzzy instead of bushy and dark in shade. The chipmunk has 4 toes on its front feet. It utilizes its front feet and toes as hands and fingers when it consumes. There are 5 toes on the back feet. Males and females are tough to differentiate till the breeding period. The chipmunk additionally molts in very early summer season and loss.

Considering approximately around 5 ounces, the Eastern chipmunk is the biggest of its kind.

iStock.com/ Kyle Bedell


Eastern chipmunks are singular and most energetic throughout the center of the early morning and the center of the mid-day. They invest almost all of their time searching for food, for they do not plump up to survive hibernation yet has to gather nuts and seeds and cache them.

Eastern chipmunks are dexterous mountain climbers of trees and have a squirrel’s physiological adjustments that allow them get down hastily. Yet, they are taken into consideration ground squirrels since they occasionally develop fancy burrows with spaces and passages that have various entries and departures.

Burrows are discovered in the facility of the chipmunk’s house variety. It is normally much less than 3 feet deep and the passages get in touch with each various other and can be 33 feet long. The chipmunks camouflage their burrows by including fallen leaves, rocks, sticks, and various other challenge the entries. The nest itself is constructed out of shredded fallen leaves. Chipmunks are territorial and will boldy protect their burrows.

In the wintertime, while it is experiencing torpor, a chipmunk will certainly get up once in a while to prey on its shops of seeds and nuts. On warmer days, it’ll also appear of its burrow to forage. It takes the chipmunk hrs to get up from its wintertime sleep.

The rodent additionally has a fascinating arsenal of phone calls. Researchers categorize them as chips, chucks, screeches, babbles, and trills.


Eastern chipmunks enjoy city parks, river valleys, and deciduous timbers discovered in the south of Canada and down via the eastern component of the USA. Their preferred environment is old woodlands made greatly of beeches and maples, and they dig their burrows under structures, crags, log heaps, and bushes. The dimension of their house variety relies on the moment of year. It’s biggest in very early summer season to very early loss and tiniest in springtime and wintertime.


Eastern chipmunks are greatly herbivores, yet they will certainly additionally eat bird eggs, slugs, worms, and insects. When it involves grow product, they notoriously eat seeds, mushrooms, light bulbs, nuts, fruit, and eco-friendly leafy plants. They cache nuts and seeds all year, yet the actions grabs in the loss prior to the rodent enters into its not- rather hibernation.

Regardless of their foraging for seeds, eastern chipmunks do not appear to create way too much injury to plants. Once in a while they’ll spread some seeds, and several of them will certainly sprout. Considering that chipmunks eat insects, they might assist manage the pest populace.

Predators and Dangers

The eastern chipmunk is the best target for a selection ofpredators It is safe, simple to capture, and supplies an excellent dish for a tool- sized predator. Since eastern chipmunks are so plentiful, predation maintains their numbers in equilibrium. Predators consist of red- trailed hawks, owls, raccoons, red squirrels, mustelids such as fishers and ermines, bobcats, coyotes, and pet dogs and cats.

Reproduction and Life Process

Eastern chipmunks just endure each various other throughout the reproducing period and obviously when a mom is increasing her dogs. They have 2 reproducing periods. One lasts in between February and April and the various other lasts in between June and August. They are promiscuous and have a number of companions throughout the female’s duration of estrous. Throughout that time she’ll remain in her house variety, and the males will certainly seek her out.

After a maternity of regarding 35 days, the female chipmunk brings to life 2 to 5 dogs in her burrow. They are nude, blind, and defenseless and weigh regarding a tenth of an ounce. They are discouraged after regarding 40 days. The dogs are independent when they have to do with 2 months old, and females prepare to reproduce themselves when they have to do with 6 months old. Males prepare when they have to do with 8 months old. Though the majority of chipmunks do not live previous 2 years, they can have a life expectancy of as lengthy as 8 years in the wild.


Though there are no collection numbers, the eastern chipmunk prevails within its variety, and its IUCN listing as least concern.


  1. ITIS, Available here: https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=180207#null
  2. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_chipmunk
  3. LiveScience, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_chipmunk
  4. Simon & Schuster, Available here: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Elizabeth-Taylors-Nibbles-and-Me/Elizabeth-Taylor/9781442442306
  5. ESF, Available here: https://www.esf.edu/aec/adks/mammals/chipmunk.htm
  6. GA Department of Natural Resources, Available here: https://georgiawildlife.com/out-my-backdoor-chipmunks-winter-present-backyard-mystery
  7. IUCN, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/search?query=Tamias%20striatus&searchType=species

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