An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide –

Eastern Chipmunks Nesting

Eastern Chipmunks breed twice a year, typically in March/April and in June/July.  After mating, the female chipmunk outfits a central nesting chamber deep within the ground with leaves.  She will give birth to four to six young in about a month.  When born the young are about the size of a jelly bean, toothless and furless with closed eyes and ears. The mother raises her young by herself and by the time they are a month old, they begin to emerge from their burrow.  At this point they are about two-thirds the size of an adult chipmunk.  (Photo: female Eastern Chipmunk collecting leaves for her underground nest)

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to  and click on the yellow “donate” button.

16 responses

  1. Susan Elliott

    So many chipmunks this year! We’re offering them for 25 cents apiece. So
    far no takers. 🙂

    June 5, 2020 at 10:03 am

  2. Pat Thomas

    so very sweet. thank you, mary!

    June 5, 2020 at 10:14 am

  3. Linda Holland

    What a great MOM!


    June 5, 2020 at 10:17 am

  4. Bill on the Hill

    Hi Mary… I had a family of ( 4 ) just outside my den window yesterday, ( 2 ) adults & ( 2 ) youngsters. All ( 4 ) of them sitting tight together outside their den hole. Cute little devils!
    Bill… :~)

    June 5, 2020 at 10:59 am

  5. Stein

    Susan is offering them for 25 a piece; you can have mine for free!!! So very many this year!
    I wonder if a banner year like this one is what did in my blueberry crop several years ago…

    June 5, 2020 at 11:05 am

  6. Alice

    Adorable photo! It doesn’t seem to bother the 🐿 that the nesting chamber is in the middle of our front yard & my 2 kitties sometimes sit near it on 🐿 watch. They haven’t caught any, yet. That’s a very small sized baby & a quick grower.

    June 5, 2020 at 11:12 am

  7. kathiefive

    It did seem, in Northampton, that this is a bumper year for chipmunks. We don’t have them on Isle au Haut.

    June 5, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    • Alice

      Generous people could change that for you!

      June 5, 2020 at 4:52 pm

  8. Wallie

    OMG you mean I haven’t even seen the next generation of chipmunks?! I introduced some weasels hoping they might control the hoard-I live on the Connecticut coast- I haven’t seen this many chipmunks in years-

    June 5, 2020 at 6:11 pm

  9. Barry Avery

    They are a terrible pest in my yard. So far this Spring I have managed to trap and give new homes to more than three dozen.

    June 6, 2020 at 7:55 am

  10. Wallie

    Correction: I left a message regarding the chipmunk ‘hoard’ yesterday- I think that should have been hoards or horde-if there is something larger than a horde I’ve got that too!

    June 6, 2020 at 9:19 am

  11. Lynne Woodard

    Neglected to mention the single unhatched egg this family had to cuddle up with before they fledged!

    June 6, 2020 at 12:03 pm

  12. Julia

    So very cute but so destructive. I have stone walls about 2 feet high and they have dug out so much dirt behind them that the wall is falling down. The big question is where do they put the dirt they dig from new tunnels???? I never see piles of dirt just clean round holes.

    June 6, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    • Hi Julia,
      They carry it off in their cheek pouches, but I don’t know how far they go before depositing it!

      June 6, 2020 at 2:03 pm

  13. mona chamberlain

    Mary, – new subject

    Last fall I had a lunar moth caterpillar build a cacoon on the frame of my garage door. I watched the process and was amazed that this large caterpillar built the cocoon around itself, up and down, back and fourth until it was completely incased and the cocoon solidly anchored by thin very strong taught threads attached to the woodwork of the door, I thought to myself – “no way could this survive the winter with the strong icy winds from the west that swirl around the side of my garage. March, April and May arrived with warmer weather and I thought that if it was to survive I would be seeing some action by now. None. Late today, June 6, I spotted something I thought was a hornet’s nest but when I got closer saw it was the Lunar Moth which had come out of its cocoon and attached itself on a higher spot. on the door frame — Today, June 6,, the day after the full moon! Unfortunately, I am unable to send you a picture. It is brownish at this point but the designs on its wings do compare to some pictures I see on the internet. However I do not see any cocoons like the one on my garage door, The caterpillar definitely appeared as a Lunar Moth. Mona Chamberlain, 27 Wildwood Drive, West Lebanon, NH 603-643-9293


    June 6, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    • Mona, can you send me a photo of the moth and the cocoon to I would love to see them. June is the month of giant silk moths, so the timing is right! So glad it survived and you got to see it before it disappeared.

      June 7, 2020 at 1:50 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s