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California Chipmunk


The California Chipmunk is one of the larger chipmunks reaching a length of approximately 9 inches. Its tail is long, bushy at the base and thinner at the end. It is found in forests and woodlands both above and below the timberline near rock outcroppings. For a list of sightings of this animal, you can view our Sightings and Observations Log and search on "California Chipmunk".

The local chipmunks are best distinguished from each other by their stripe markings. All of the chipmunks that we have seen in this area have stripes across the face and back. The key is to distinguish the differences in those stripes.

There are two key identifiable stripe markings on the California Chipmunk.
1) First is the stripe through the eye. This stripe is black where it passes through the eye and on each side of the eye.
2) Second are the gray stripes across the California Chipmunk's back. The outer gray stripe on each side is lighter than the inner gray stripe.

Range or location is not always useful in identifying chipmunks since several different species may occupy the same range.

Family: Squirrel.

Field Notes

Taking pictures of this particular critter was difficult. It was constantly darting back and forth across the rocks and branches like a ball in a pinball game.

We have observed both the California Chipmunk and the Lodgepole Chipmunk in Icehouse Canyon.

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