Mammals

Chipmunk Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

Eastern Chipmunks have mostly reddish-brown fur with a single black stripe running down the center of their back. 

Two black stripes and one white stripe run down each side of their body (from the neck almost to their tail). 

They also have a white underside and a white stripe above and below their eyes. 

These Chipmunks range in size from 8 to 10 inches long. Males and females of this species look identical with no sexual dimorphism between them. 

This species is in the Squirrel family, which makes them related to Groundhogs and Prairie dogs. In MD, these animals can be found west of the Chesapeake Bay. This is the only species of Chipmunk found in MD. 

This species can be found in deciduous forests, shrublands, and forest edges as well as suburban and urban areas where there is enough cover to protect them from predators. 

These Chipmunks will build a network of underground burrows that can go up to 30 feet in length and 3 feet in depth. They will also remove fresh dirt from the entrance to hide their burrows. 

Eastern Chipmunks are omnivores; they will eat seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, flowers, mushrooms, worms, snails, small frogs, and even bird eggs. While they are foraging, they will also often stuff food into their cheeks that can expand up to three times their normal size. 

Unlike many other small mammals, this species will breed twice per year and the offspring are bumblebee size when they are born. The father provides no parental care and the offspring need to stay with the mother for 6 weeks before they can be independent. 

This species is very territorial and male and female Chipmunks will only come together during breeding season. 

Eastern Chipmunks make a variety of sounds. They can make single or repeated (80 - 180 chips per minute) bird-like chip calls to signal their presence. In addition, they also make chucks which are lower pitched and signal caution, fear, or annoyance. 

Chipmunks will make a trill composed of rapidly repeated chips when startled as well and when fighting, chipmunks will make a chuck trill. During mating, they also produce a whistle.