Eastern Chipmunk

Tamias striatus

At-a-Glance

• Litter Size: 4-5

• Typical Foods: omnivorous: feeds on seeds, fruits, meat, eggs, insects and bulbs.

Description

This squirrel-like mammal is reddish-brown in color with five black stripes on their backs. These stripes are separated by brown, white, or gray colors. Their pouched cheeks are used to store and carry food.

Habitat and Habits

Eastern chipmunks usually inhabit deciduous forests and brushy areas. They live in shallow burrows in the ground that they dig by carrying away dirt in their cheek pouches. They often conceal the several different entrances and exits with leaves and rocks.

Reproduction and Care of the Young

Unlike others of the squirrel family, the Eastern chipmunk has two breeding seasons; one in February through April and the other June through August. Four to five young are born after a gestation period of about 31 days. The young do not appear above ground until about six weeks of age.