Eastern Chipmunk

Tamias striatus

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  • Eastern Chipmunk |  Photo: Giles Gonthier
  • Eastern Chipmunk |  Photo: Giles Gonthier
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Eastern Chipmunk Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Order

Rodentia

Family

Sciuridae

Size

Eastern Chipmunks are generally up to 30 inches in length.

Lifespan

up to 8 years

Weight

Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) facts, habitat, diet, range, chipmunk pictures and more to help you learn to identify the small rodent.

Diet

Herbivore

Breeding

Eastern Chipmunks mate twice per year. The first litter comes in early spring and the second in midsummer. They are polygamous; females will mate with multiple males. Females tend to stay within their home range during mating seasons and let male suitors come to them. Litter sizes vary dependent on resource availability.

Range

Eastern U.S.

Number of Offspring

2-5 pups

What does the Eastern Chipmunk look like?

Eastern Chipmunks are small pelage colored rodents. They have a yellow to reddish rump patch, white undercarriages and five dark strips. Their tails are hairy and flattened. They have large cheek pouches located inside their mouths to store food.

Eastern Chipmunk Habitat

Forests

Eastern Chipmunk Facts

Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias striatus) are common from Maine down through Florida. The get their name from a Native American Chippewa word that means “one who descends trees headlong.” They have a slough of predators, including but nearly limited to raptors, foxes, coyotes and weasels. They are primarily herbivores but will eat insects, worms and bird eggs. The pouches in their cheeks allow them to transport food to cache for winter. During winter they do not have enough fat reserves to hibernate, so instead they enter a state of torpor and their bodies essentially slow down and conserve energy. They do however, arise during the winter and occasionally forage for food. Eastern Chipmunks are very vocal and it is not uncommon to hear their thrill chips when hiking. The calls alert others of a potential predator in the area.

See also