Winter is surely near when you see a Chipmunk, cheeks full of bird seed, scurrying across the yard and then disappearing into a hole in the ground. We have baffles on our feeding stations, but most birds throw enough seed to the ground to keep the Chipmunks happy.
The chipmunks preferred home is an intricate system of inter-connecting tunnels, 12-30 feet in length and 2 inches in diameter. This burrow system usually has one unobstructed entrance with the opening of other tunnels that lead to the surface plugged with leaves. Most tunnels are 18-36 inches deep, but a few penetrate deeper and serve as drains to minimize flooding. A chamber, 6-10 inches in diameter, contains a nest of leaves and several passageways to food storage galleries. A chipmunk may dig part of the burrow system using its forefeet and cheek pouches to loosen and transport soil, but the renovation of old root channels and existing burrows of other mammals is the primary method of burrow construction.
All photos taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm f/4 L IS lens. Simply click a thumbnail for a full-sized view.