View Full Version : Chipmunks and Squirrels (or lack of them!)

gravy boat
05-21-2005, 07:57 PM
Hi All,

I believe I read in a past thread about the lack of chipmunks this Spring. We noticed it as well. We've also noticed the lack of squirrels -- all colors -- here in Gilford. We thought it might be due to the deep snow this season, leaving smaller food supplies for the predators (fox, coyotes). We live in a pretty heavily wooded area off of Rt. 11A.

Has anybody else noticed this?


Lake Lady 6
05-21-2005, 08:11 PM
We noticed the lack of chipmunks early in the season but had an unusual number of red squirrels. Not sure if the red squirrels helped keep the chipmunks away but they seem to be increasing as time goes on. We have bird feeders so that would encourage the critters as well.

05-21-2005, 08:38 PM
Here in West Alton we have an abundance of both gray and red squirrels, as well as chipmunks. I'd be glad to send you some! :D

05-22-2005, 06:28 AM
Please send a few chipmunks to me in Meredith if it's not too much trouble.....my cats have nothing to do

05-22-2005, 08:53 AM
Actually, I don't think my wife would let me do that, SAMIAM ... the chipmunks keep HER three cats entertained here! How 'bout some red squirrels?

05-22-2005, 04:36 PM
The chipmunks are back here but my cats need them for entertainment. First Sighting today.

05-23-2005, 07:11 AM
I've got red squirrels to spare....no grays,though.They used to be everywhere and no there are none....like something out of a Steven king book....

05-23-2005, 10:22 AM
After reading the original lack-o-chipmunks thread, I kept an eye out for the little striped dudes. Saw a few red squirrels (as usual), and then later saw a chippy under the house. Good news all around. The most abundant creature on our property this spring, however, seemed to be various woodpeckers -- both pileated and downy. Lots of new holes pecked.

05-23-2005, 11:08 AM
The most abundant creature on our property this spring, however, seemed to be various woodpeckers -- both pileated and downy. Lots of new holes pecked.
Grant - The pileated woodpeckers are beautiful birds, but their presence on your property isn't a good sign. They peck those big holes to get at ants or other insect infestations inside the tree. We've found that when a pileated woodpecker starts pecking holes in a tree, it's a sign the tree should probably be taken down. That's happened to several of our trees here, mostly to white birch and white pine. In each case, the trees the pileateds went to work on turned out to be infested with insects and we had to have them removed. It might be a good idea to have a tree expert take a look.

05-23-2005, 11:51 AM
Generally the red squirrels can help to keep the chipmunk count lower. I understand they can be mean little buggers. :eek:

05-28-2005, 07:15 AM
From today's Union Leader:

“...We live in a rural part of Goffstown and usually have to take action to reduce our chipmunk population as they ruin our gardens. This year we have, thus far, neither seen nor heard a single chipmunk in the area. Seems this is a more widespread issue. We’ve also been wondering what could account for this. Though we are looking forward to an abundant harvest for once...!” http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=55379 -- near the end of the article

I don't want to know what "action" gardeners take against our rural New Hampshire chipmunks, but maybe taking their non-rural activity to "The Garden State" would be a good start.

Red squirrels have been incredibly destructive of my stuff. :( They have chewed everything made of fabric: Rope, nylon, chair weavings, chair cushions, sail bags, cotton, dacron, etc., and make messy and smelly nests hither and yon.

OTOH, Chipmunks have chewed at my shirt pocket for many seconds (for the birdseed within), with no damage to the shirt. (And prefer their burrows underground, and have never nested in/near the house). With the exception of garden seed retrieval, they get a bad reputation from some.

I've personally relocated seven red squirrels this Spring and still have only two chipmunks: One, (a male I think) needs to go to the "Special Chipmunk Needs" department, while the other has been easily trained to respond to a whistle (appearing "out of nowhere" from the woods) and to gather birdseed gently from the hand.

I don't know of anybody who's trained a red squirrel. :confused:

05-28-2005, 10:03 AM
My Grandfather had several chippies trained. One named crooked tail, would climb him and sit on his shoulder and dip into his shirt pocket to get peanuts, then back to his shoulder to stuff his cheeks. He had a crooked tail from our screen door.......never would come back into the house after that....hmmmm

06-04-2005, 05:31 AM
But I'm wondering if my local chipmunk count -- which had been down since Easter -- isn't due to the fact that nearly all the local white pine trees have been "harvested" from as far as I can see. (No pine cones). Is this a possible link to the local, diminished, count?

The chipmunk "count" has improved since Easter, and there are three "regulars" -- particularly under the bird feeder. Now there are at least four, total, on my acre.

The New Hampshire Union Leader has its usual Saturday article about Nature, and the chipmunk (and a book written about chipmunks) is featured today (http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=55736).

"...When I looked out over our in-ground pool in the back yard, I saw a chipmunk standing upright by the side of the pool looking into it. He was obviously sounding a distress call. Something had fallen into the pool and it appeared to be another chipmunk...."

Here, all have been trained to respond to a whistle and, once a heirarchy of "Alpha-Chipmunk" has become established (by much chasing around), one will approach close enough to feed by hand. When he has collected all he can, another will appear -- then another. (Then more chasing, and the whole sequence starts over again). :emb:

One has become quite an "underfoot" nuisance, and I have to watch where I put my feet. :look: Another will pester me on the dock (until I'm out of bird seed).

Last year, it wasn't unusual to be visited on my boat and have my pockets inspected (by "Blinky").

It's fun having a pet that doesn't throw up on the rug.