Least Chipmunk

photo by Andrew McKinlay CC BY-NC

Least Chipmunk are the smallest of all the chipmunks (8 in tall) with light and dark stripes on their face and back. Their tail and back are reddish-brown, while their belly is grayish-white. They are most at home in the boreal and Rocky Mountain forests, but they can also be found across central Canada and the Great Plains, from sagebrush desert to alpine tundra.

Least Chipmunk are active during the day, spending most of their time looking for food - nuts, berries, grasses, insects. They use their cheek pouches to carry food back to their underground burrows. During the winter, they drop into a deep sleep, waking up occasionally to eat some of their stored food. They play an important role in seed dispersal.

Could it be? Red-tailed Chipmunk are more brightly colored and are found in the forests of the Rocky Mountains. Yellow-pine Chipmunk are larger and darker than Least Chipmunk.

Did you know? Least Chipmunk are good climbers and may build nests high above the ground or climb up a tree in cooler weather to warm themselves in the sun.

See Also: 13-lined Ground Squirrel, Bushy-tailed Woodrat, Hoary Marmot, Marten, Pika, Red-tailed Chipmunk, Richardson's Ground Squirrel, Squirrel, Weasel, Yellow-bellied Marmot, Yellow-pine Chipmunk