SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

October 26, 2012

Where do all the chipmunks go?

Q: Where do chipmunks go in the winter? There are so many around the rest of the year, but not in winter. The squirrels are year-round residents and eat at the bird feeder, but where are the chipmunks?

A: Chipmunks, unlike the squirrels, hibernate in winter. These tiny creatures live in dens in stone walls, your house foundations and even in an old tree trunk, but always in a tiny cave down low to the ground where they store as much as 8 pounds of food for the winter. All summer, they spend their days eating and storing food in their den for the winter, which they carry in their deep cheek pouches while gathering.

Unlike other animals that hibernate with the addition of a layer of winter fat, chipmunks remain active, so they require less fatty foods for storage. They are omnivores and eat worms and insects and grubs, as well as seeds and roots. They give birth to their young once or twice a year, giving birth to a litter of two to 10 who are out and about gathering food at about 2 months old. They live about two to three years in the wild.

Rest assured — if the food supply is there, chipmunks will be back. Watch for them at your feeder.

Q: We have a wisteria over part of our patio that provides some shade and privacy but is in the process of overtaking everything. What is the best way to keep this plant in check? It sends its tentacles up into an overhanging tree and out toward our house. We are constantly trimming them back but are afraid we may be cutting off the sources of new spring flowers. How far back should we cut them, and is there anything else we need to do to this plant?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Orchid North Shore Gardener: It’s the summer without hydrangeas August "Fairest of the months! Ripe summer's queen, the hey-day of the year, with robes that gleam with sunny sheen Sweet August doth appear." -- R. Combe Miller Q: Can you tell me why my numerous "Endless Summer" hydrangea plants are not blooming th

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr. Kate: 8 strategies to help your child overcome a fear of bullies Despite the massive anti-bullying campaigns that dominate our current culture, many students continue to feel bullied. The current anti-bullying campaign focuses on decreasing bullying by policing the bullies, but what about empowering the victims? B

    August 1, 2014

  • booknotes0801 Stroll through a story at Danvers library Reading can be good for the body as well as the mind. That's especially true for visitors of the new StoryWalk at Peabody Institute Library of Danvers. "StoryWalk is combining physical activity with reading," said Karen Veilleux, a children's librar

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • frenkel Quick pick: Bring stories to life Bring stories to life Explore and experience the challenges and satisfactions of combining text with images in a four-session illustration workshop, led by award-winning published illustrator Yetti Frenkel at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV Outlander [Duplicate] 'Outlander' brings novels to life vibrantly NEW YORK -- There's an odd believability you find inside "Outlander" that somehow makes it feel true-to-life. Never mind that it's a rip-roaring fantasy. Claire, a lovely British Army nurse on a second honeymoon in Scotland, is mysteriously swept fr

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Dear Abby: Diabetic friend suffers close call miles away from hospital Dear Abby: My husband and I have a lake house and invited a couple (close friends) to join us for a few days. The husband has cancer and has been taking chemo. We wanted them both to rest, as the wife is his only caregiver. We all thought this would

    August 1, 2014

  • People-Alicia Keys [Duplicate] Alicia Keys pregnant with second child NEW YORK (AP) -- Alicia Keys is getting ready for another big release: her second child. A representative for the Grammy-winning performer confirmed Thursday that the singer is pregnant. Keys posted a photo with her baby bump on Instagram early Thurs

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, Aug. 1

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, July 31

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • homecoming1 Festivals in Salem and Beverly celebrate cities' heritage

    Salem Heritage Days and Beverly Homecoming, both of which start this weekend, are roughly the same age. "This is the 49th year," said Bruce Doig, director of parks and recreation in Beverly. "The most recent form of homecoming started in 1966 as a wa

    July 31, 2014 6 Photos

NDN Video
Comments Tracker