What Do Chipmunks Eat?

What Do Chipmunks Eat?
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Chipmunks are classified in the squirrel family. These animals are the smallest in the squirrel family. Chipmunks are omnivorous. A typical chipmunk diet consists of grains, nuts, fruits, insects, and berries.


What Do Chipmunks Eat?

Type of Chipmunks Binomial Name Diet
Siberian Chipmunk Tamias sibiricus Lizards, small insects, fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, little birds, fungi, and seeds.
The Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus Tubers, fungi, seeds, nuts, fruits, invertebrates, and small vertebrates
The Least Chipmunk Neotamias minimus Seeds, young shoots, leaves, flowers, fruits, earthworms, and insects.
The Red-tailed Chipmunk Neotamias ruficaudus Flowers and leaves, particularly currants, dandelion, oyster plant, and glacier lily.

Chipmunks Diet by Types

About 25 chipmunk species have been described. Out of these species, only one is found outside North America. This section will shed light on some of these species.

What Do Siberian Chipmunks Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Rodentia Sciuridae Tamias Tamias sibiricus

What Do Siberian Chipmunks Eat?

The Siberian chipmunk is the only member of the genus Tamias that is found outside North America. This species is native to the northern parts of Asia. The adult members of this species grow to between 18 and 25cm.

  • The Siberian chipmunks are omnivores. Their diet entails lizards, small insects, fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, little birds, fungi, and seeds.
  • The Siberian chipmunks hunt by stalking their prey.

What Do the Eastern Chipmunks Eat?

What Do Eastern Chipmunks Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Rodentia Sciuridae Tamias Tamias striatus

As suggested by its name, the eastern chipmunk is found in the eastern parts of America. The name “striatus” describes the white and black stripes that are present on their bodies. This chipmunk has a brightly colored coat, and it averages about 24.3cm in length.

  • Like other chipmunks, this species is also omnivorous. Its diet entails the following food items: tubers, fungi, seeds, nuts, fruits, invertebrates, and small vertebrates with the example of nestlings.
  • The hunting strategy used by the eastern chipmunk is forcefully snatching bird eggs and nestlings from bird nests.
  • They also stalk small invertebrates before attacking and feeding on them.

What Do the Least Chipmunks Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Rodentia Sciuridae Neotamias Neotamias minimus

What Do The Least Chipmunks Eat?

As suggested by its name, the least chipmunk is the smallest member of the squirrel family and the smallest chipmunk species. The adult members of this species weigh anything between 42-53g.

  • The least chipmunk is also found in wide distribution throughout North America.
  • The members of this species can be differentiated because of their small stature, lateral lines that extend on both sides of the head, and long tails.
  • The least chipmunk mostly dines on plant material. Their preferred foods entail seeds, young shoots, leaves, flowers, fruits, earthworms, and insects.
  • On rare occasions, the least chipmunk feeds on small mammals and small birds.
  • The least chipmunk has been observed to look for food both on the ground and in trees.
  • These chipmunks can climb up to 9m in search of food.
  • The hunting strategy, the least chipmunks, use to find insects, mollusks, and a wide variety of terrestrial worms is stalking.
  • The least chipmunk will also rarely plunder birds’ nests to capture bird eggs and nestlings.

What Do the Red-tailed Chipmunks Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Rodentia Sciuridae Neotamias Neotamias ruficaudus

What Do Red Tailed Chipmunks Eat?

As suggested by its name, the red-tailed chipmunk has a reddish-brown tail. This species is relatively larger and darker compared to other chipmunks.

  • The typical diet of this chipmunk entails the fruits and seeds of a variety of shrubs and trees.
  • They have also been observed to feed on flowers and leaves, particularly currants, dandelion, oyster plant, and glacier lily.
  • The red-tailed chipmunk also consumes fungi. On other occasions, the red-tailed chipmunk will also feed on small invertebrates, particularly locusts.
  • The hunting strategy used by the red-tailed chipmunk to capture insects is stalking.

When Do Chipmunks Eat?

Chipmunks are active during the daytime hours. They are likely to be found feeding during the day. They also store food during the day, which comes in handy for them during the harsh winter periods.

How Often Do Chipmunks Eat?

Chipmunks eat small amounts of every often (about 6 times a day).

  • During the winter period, chipmunks enter into a state of dormancy. They do not necessarily hibernate, but they sleep a lot. During this time, they feed less frequently.

What Do Chipmunks Eat in the Winter?

As you probably already know, chipmunks are infamous for storing food in their mouth-making their cheeks bulge-and bringing it back to their nest.

  • When it isn’t winter, and they do not have to hibernate, chipmunks have an omnivorous diet.
  • However, when it is winter, they typically only eat their stored nuts and seeds between their days of sleep.

What Do Chipmunks Drink?

Chipmunks drink water – the liquid required by all living things on Earth to survive.

Where Do Chipmunks Sleep?

Chipmunks nest and sleep in self-made underground burrows; there are two types: shallow and deep.

  • Shallow burrows are usually less complicated than deep burrows since they have fewer entrances, and the individual tunnels aren’t as complicated.
  • It should be noted that shallow burrows are generally made for a short stay. In contrast, deep burrows are dug for extended stays (e. g., hibernation).

Do Chipmunks Bite?

Chipmunks are usually docile, so it isn’t often that they bite humans unprovoked.

  • However, if they get scared or angry, there is a high chance of receiving a bite.
  • Please note that chipmunks can transmit diseases, such as tetanus and plague, through a bite.

What Eats Chipmunks?

What Eats Chipmunks (Weasels)?

Chipmunks tend to gather food in places where they can get cover from predators who hunt them for food. Examples of chipmunk predators include but are not limited to foxes, snakes, weasels, hawks, wolves, and coyotes.

Where Do Chipmunks Fit in the Animal Food Chain?

Chipmunks play an imperative role in the animal food chain, such that their absence would interfere with the integrity of the food webs within their ecosystems.

  • Chipmunks help regulate the local population of the organisms they predate, such as insects, mollusks, and the various terrestrial worms.
  • In their role as prey, chipmunks help their predators thrive and to propagate.

Cite this article as: "What Do Chipmunks Eat?," in Bio Explorer, September 30, 2020, https://www.bioexplorer.net/what-do-chipmunks-eat.html/.

Key References

  • “Chipmunks | National Geographic”. Accessed July 31, 2020. Link.
  • “ADW: Tamias sibiricus: INFORMATION”. Accessed July 31, 2020. Link.
  • “Eastern Chipmunk | Adirondack Ecological Center | SUNY ESF | College of Environmental Science and Forestry”. Accessed July 31, 2020. Link.
  • “Adirondack Mammals: Eastern Chipmunk | Tamias striatus”. Accessed July 31, 2020. Link.
  • “Least Chipmunk – Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)”. Accessed July 31, 2020. Link.
  • “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Accessed July 31, 2020. Link.
  • “About Chipmunks”. Accessed July 31, 2020. Link.
  • “Bites and Stings: Animals | Johns Hopkins Medicine”. Accessed July 31, 2020. Link.


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