JAMAICA POND PROJECT

36 Perkins St., PO Box 300040, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-0030

Gerry Wright, Founder and President

Telephone: 617-524-7070

Email: FrederickLawOlmsted@yahoo.com

TTY/MA RELAY 800-439-2370

www.FriendsOfJamaicaPond.org

Jamaica Pond Project

History and Annual Park Keeper Award

Frederick Law Olmsted a one-man play by Gerry Wright

Nature's Class Room: Environmental Education Projects

Environmental Research Projects

Forestry Protection Projects

Emerald Necklace Bird Club

Volunteer Stewardship Program

Calendar and Meetings and Press

Memberships and Donations

Links and Resources

Contact and Email Info

 
"Let it be not for present use and delight alone, but let it be of such a work that our descendents will thank us for it."
Frederick Law Olmsted

Nature's
Class Room:

Environmental
Education
Projects

Jamaica Pond's Albino Gray Squirrel

Eastern Chipmunk


Cottontail Rabbits

Great Horned Owls

Red Tailed Hawks


Butterflies and Dragonflies

Emerald Necklace Wildflowers

Pink Lady's Slipper

Great Blue Herons

Emerald Necklace Fungi (Coming Soon)

Boston's Emerald Necklace

Eastern Chipmunk

Tamias striatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

by Stephen Baird


  • Eastern Chipmunks are very common and can be found throughout Boston's Emerald Necklace from the Back Bay Fens to Olmsted Park to Franklin Park and many backyards.

  • Eastern Chipmunks weigh 3 to 5 ounces with a length of 8 to 11 inches.  They have four toes on front feet and five toes on back feet.  The mouth pouches hold large amounts of seeds and nuts that are carried to burrow food storage chambers for winter feeding. The pouches are also used to carry dirt away from burrow tunnel entrances to hide entrances from predators.

  • Name given by Algonquian Ojibwa (Chippewa) "chetamon" or "acitamon" evolved to "chitmonk" and "chitminck."  Possibly for the chipmunk's loud territorial vocal "chips" and monk like posture when feeding the common name eventually evolved to chipmunk.
    • Latin name Tamias Striatus provided by Linnauus in 1758 means striped storer for chipmunks' stripes and behavior of hoarding food
    • Français: Tamia rayé
    • Polski: Pręgowiec amerykański
    • Russian: Burunduk (Siberian chipmunk Tamias sibiricus)
    • Chinese: 西伯利亞花栗鼠 (Siberian chipmunk Tamias sibiricus)

  • Chipmunks live an average of just over 1 year in the wild.  Half of the late summer and fall chipmunk population were born that year. Some live 2-3 years.
  • Chipmunks are omnivorous-- primarily eating seeds, grains, fruits, and nuts such as acorns.  They also eat worms, salamanders, bugs, slugs, mushrooms, bird eggs and young mice. Chipmunks hoard nuts, seeds and other hard foods for the winter torpor.
  • Chipmunks dig an extensive burrow 10-30 feet deep with multiple tunnel entrances and multiple chambers for sleeping, storing different foods, refuge and defecating. The one-foot wide by eight inch high sleeping chamber is lined with grasses and leaves is also used for the nursery and winter torpor. The burrow must be dug below the frost line for chipmunks to survive the winter torpor. Territory usually extends about fifty feet from the burrow.
  • Chipmunks do not hibernate but lower their heart rate, breathing rate and body temperature to 40 degrees in a deep sleep called a torpor.  They wake every 4-9 days and raise their body temperature to 94 degrees, eat some of their food hoard they sleep on in their main burrow chamber and defecate in another sub chamber.  They return to the main chamber and the torpor sleep. Chipmunks begin the winter torpor in late October and emerge in the spring in March.  Some will scamper out of the burrow during a warm mid winter thaw to seek food from other storage sites near the burrow.

  • Reproduction:
    • Males will set up territory by thumping the ground with their hind legs. Competition between males through noisy chases and fighting can cause serious injury.
    • Females will call males with "chips" near their burrow nests.
    • Eastern chipmunks mate twice a year in early spring March-April and mid summer June-July. Litters average 4-5 and up to 9 young.
    • Young chipmunks are born without fur and blind.  They leave the burrow nest in 6 weeks and become completely independent shortly after leaving the nest in 6-8 weeks.
    • Males do not actively care for young.
  • Predators: Chipmunks are a source of food for many reptiles, birds and mammals.  Great horned owls, red tailed hawks, peregrine falcons, coyotes, foxes, and large snakes are some of the chipmunk predators here in the Emerald Necklace.
Contact and Email Information

JAMAICA POND PROJECT

36 Perkins St., PO Box 300040, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-0030

Gerry Wright, Founder and President

Telephone: 617-524-7070

Email: FrederickLawOlmsted@yahoo.com

TTY/MA RELAY 800-439-2370

www.FriendsOfJamaicaPond.org

For translations into different languages -- Arabic, Chinese, Italian, French, German, Russian, Spanish or others visit the web site: http://babel.altavista.com

Community Arts Advocates

Copyright © 1999-2017 by Stephen Baird