Chipmunks and More !

If you are lucky enough to have some chipmunks around your cottage you can almost guarantee you will be entertained as the little animals go about their daily routine which consists mostly of gathering food.

Chipmunks seem to be a little better natured than squirrels, which I find tend to be a little cranky and sometimes downright beligerant, not to mention destructive if they get into your camp. Chipmunks on the other hand, don’t seem to be as bad, although I have never actually had a chipmunk get inside the camp.

Chipmunks are easy to identify from the light and dark stripes on the back and head, which are quite distinctive. Sometimes they are mistaken for striped ground squirrels, but if you see them together you realize that chipmunks are smaller and have facial markings and five dark stripes on their backs and one that goes right on to their heads. Ground squirrels don’t have any markings on their heads.

Chipmunks are much smaller than squirrels and usually a little darker brown. Of course squirrels don’t have stripes.

From what I have read it appears that scientists are not sure how many species of chipmunks actually live in North America, but they figure it is around 20…who knew?

Chipmunks are members of the squirrel family which means it is also a rodent, yup, not unlike a rat, but somehow we don’t like to think of them that way, perhaps because they are so cute. The name of the chipmunk in Latin means ‘striped storer’ which probably has something to do with the stripes on its back and that much of its life is centred on the storage of food. Chipmunks usually live underground in little burrows.

Of course, owing to it’s small size for one thing, a chipmunk is a food source for a lot of other animals including owls and hawks, coyotes, bears, bobcats, and almost any other animal or bird with carnivorial instincts. Including housecats and even the occasional dog who has the chase instinct.

I had a springer spaniel that was very adept at catching both squirrels and chipmunks although she never killed them, just carried them home to me….always a treat trying to get a live squirrel out of the mouth of a dog…

The reason I am telling you about chipmunks is because one of my blogger buddies, Robin, over at Robin’s Woods has some very entertaining pictures posted of some chipmunks who also call Robin’s Woods home.

Robin has several posts that include pictures of her chipmunk friends as well as a lot of fantastic photo’s. She’s not only a talented blogger, she is a heck of a photographer too. I wish I had her photography skills when it comes to adding pics to The Cottage Chronicles. You can see Robin’s photos Here at Robin’s Woods I recommend it.

Speaking of photography skills, there is another blogger who puts my camera skills to shame, Shelley, who is also a fantastic writer and cranks out not one but three blogs, all of them first class. Shelly has a recent pic of a chipmunk on one of her blogs, the little fellow is kind of caught in the act so to speak, check it out here at Birding In Michigan

Shelley also has an interesting site on the go that chronicles the building of their new log cabin home, you can find it Here and while you are at it, check out Shelley’s third blog, Northern Michigan Experience for some great photo’s and commentary of..well…Northern Michigan.

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