An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Eastern Chipmunks Emerging & Mating

3-13-17 e. chipmunk IMG_2353

All winter long, Eastern Chipmunks have been intermittently napping and running to their underground larder to snack every week or two. As spring approaches, the timing of their emergence above ground is affected by the weather, even though their tunnels are 18” – 36” below the surface. Within the last week chipmunks have been seen above ground.  One would think they must be in a state of confusion, given the erratic weather we’ve experienced this spring.

Chipmunks waste no time once they are active.  Most adult females are in breeding condition when they emerge (as opposed to males, which are in a state of constant readiness) and mate within a week. This involves 10-30 couplings within about a 6-7 hour receptive period.  In a month or so, the results of these efforts will be born.

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10 responses

  1. Lidia Rosenbaum

    ok, see you tomorrow! >

    March 13, 2017 at 8:51 am

  2. Alice Pratt

    You explained it all so well, again, Mary! Good to know! 😀

    March 13, 2017 at 9:12 am

  3. Marilyn

    Sweet photo of chippy!

    March 13, 2017 at 9:19 am

  4. Cheron barton

    Not on day!! Burrrr!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    March 13, 2017 at 9:40 am

  5. Cute as they are, they drive my dog (and thus me) crazy! 😉

    March 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm

  6. Candace Martinez

    A new generation!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    March 13, 2017 at 6:04 pm

  7. Jean Harrison

    Beautiful warm colors. Are the multiple matings with just one mate?

    March 13, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    • Can be, Jean, but also can be with multiple mates.

      March 14, 2017 at 9:03 am

  8. Great photo👍🏼

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    March 14, 2017 at 12:38 am

  9. anitra sorensen

    Shortly after getting this post, I was heading toward the door of my house. Around the corner came two chipmunks – one in hot pursuit of the other (for mating I assume).

    The lead chipmunk ran right up my leg to my knee before I kicked it free, and it realized it was not a safe place to hide.

    I was really glad to know that the reason for this activity was mating season and not rabies.

    Anitra Sorensen

    On Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 8:20 AM, Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” All winter long, Eastern Chipmunks have been > intermittently napping and running to their underground larder to snack > every week or two. As spring approaches, the timing of their emergence > above ground is affected by the weather, even though their tunnel” >

    March 14, 2017 at 8:57 am

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