Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Surveying His Kingdom

July 25th, 2014. 
Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) 
Walton County, GA

This little guy was sitting on the concrete steps at the end of the house near his burrow and ‘chipping’ for almost 30 minutes. It's believed that the chipping sound may warn chipmunks of ground predators in the area but I couldn’t see anything that was threatening for him but…

We seem to have two, or maybe three, different families of chipmunks based on the locations of burrow entrances, the lack of mixing of the different chipmunks, and some ‘animosity’ between chipmunks coming to the bird feeding area.

 In the Spring, it wasn’t unusual for one chipmunk to climb a small stump and sit and ‘chip’ for about 30 minutes or longer. There were no apparent threats in the area. Squirrels in the area displayed no animosity towards the chipmunks but I have observed chipmunks to chase squirrels away from the area on some occasions. I wondered if the chipmunks are chipping simply to assert their territorial rights.

Listen to the ‘chip’ sound in the second half of Lang Elliott’s recording here.

Reference sound: 

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