An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Woodchucks Emerging and Mating

A sure sign of spring is the emergence of woodchucks, the largest members of the Squirrel family in New England, after a long winter’s sleep. Their arousal is easily noted, for when the males wake up, they do some excavating of their tunnel, scattering dirt all around it which is easily spotted on the snow (if there is still any snow left).  Equally obvious is the muddy trail they leave when in search of a female.  Mating takes place in March and April, and the resulting  litters of 2 to 6 young are born a month later.  

7 responses

  1. Etienne

    I wonder if they can take over skunk homes? Our resident Woodchuck seems to be – he lives under our shed (we think) where (we know) a long standing family of skunks (several generations) live. Also wonder if the Red Tailed Hawk can get him? Several Red Tails here on our property.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    • Hi Etienne,
      Actually, it’s usually the other way around, with skunks (as well as cottontail rabbits, foxes, raccoons and opossums) taking over old woodchuck burrows. Perhaps your woodchuck is just reclaiming his home! Red-tailed hawks do eat rabbits and hares, so a young woodchuck would most likely be a tasty meal — but something the size of a vole or mouse would be more likely to be eaten than an adult woodchuck.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm

  2. They’re out and about here in PA!

    March 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm

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