Townsend’s Chipmunk

Tamias spp.

Townsend’s Chipmunk Tracks

Natural History of Townsend’s Chipmunks

 

The closely related species of Townsend's chipmunk that inhabits northern California is the yellow-cheeked chipmunk. Chipmunks have stripes on the back and cheeks.

Chipmunks are relatively shy. They are active all day and often sun themselves in trees. They are good climbers, often running up trees to flee predators.

The home range is about 1˝ acres. Chipmunks eat berries, acorns, maple seeds, conifer seeds, fungi, and insects.

Common predators include the bobcat, gray fox, weasel, and mink. Some of the chipmunks in campgrounds become bold and will raid picnic tables and carry off food after stuffing it into their cheek pouches. In winter, they will hole up with a food cache, but they don't hibernate.

Tracks are typical rodent tracks showing four toes on the front feet and five on the rear.

 

Chipmunk tracks in dust. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.

Chipmunk tracks in the fine dust of a trail. These tracks were partially destroyed by wind, but some were visible.

Chipmunk track. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.

Hind track of a chipmunk. This track was delicate and was partially destroyed by wind.

 

Chipmunk hind print. Found in Burlington Campground - Humboldt Redwoods State Park, July 13, 1999.

Personal Notes on Townsend’s Chipmunks

 

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