About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to identify baby chipmunks

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
How come we never see baby or very young chipmunks???? - Cheers, Peter
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Mommas raise babies alone. At birth the young are 2.5 in long, blind, naked, and weigh about 0.1 oz. She nurses them and feeds them in her underground burrow until their eyes open at 30 days. Young chipmunks then begin to emerge from the burrow at 40 days looking like brand clean, skinny adults.

The female weans and abandons her litter once they come above ground, by either moving them to a nearby burrow, or by leaving her young in the natal burrow while she moves to a new one. In either case, the young disperse about two weeks later.
Potential life span for an adult chipmunk is 8 years, but few adults live longer than 2-3 years. Most of the chipmunks you see in June are probably very young.

Thank you so much Sarah.  We moved to the country several years ago and have Chippies as neighbours. However, never been able to figure out the large ups and downs in their number from year to year and how come we never see babies like we do with the raccoons. We did see one get picked off by a hawk right in front of our car which was not a pretty sight! - Cheers, Peter

Related articles:
- How much food can a chipmunk hold in his mouth? http://bit.ly/yD6Bn8
- When do Chipmunks hibernate? http://bit.ly/yIfqFT
- How many species of squirrels are in Michigan? http://bit.ly/A2wG1g
- Will Safflower seed deter chipmunks? http://bit.ly/wYGDBi
- How many different types of chipmunks are there? http://goo.gl/X4Sqf