Fisher's eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus fisheri)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
CHARACTERISTICS: This is a small, moderately heavy-set sciurid with
prominent longitudinal stripes. The median black stripe has wide gray
stripes on each side and more stripes outside these, from between the ears
to the rump. The face, rump, sides and feet are russet red and they have
prominent eyes. The facial stripes distinguish it from most mammals in the
range. They have large internal cheek pouches. The total length of this
species is 8-10 inches and it weighs from 2.3 to 4.5 ounces. T.s. fisheri has
paler sides and cheeks, and is more yellowish. There are 1-2 litters born
per year of 4-5 young each. They hibernate underground from mid-
November to early February in Virginia. They are strictly diurnal, with
mid-morning and mid-afternoon activity peaks. This species lives 3 or
more years in the wild.
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state, but rare or absent in many of the
coastal plain counties, especially the extreme southeast counties. This
species prefers open hardwood forests, brushlands, outbuildings, rubbish
heaps, rocky ground, logs and stone walls.
FOODS: This species stores its food in burrow, sometimes called larder
hoarding, to eat while underground during the winter. In the spring and
summer months, chipmunks eat many kinds of wild fruit and the foliage
and flowers of certain plants such as dandelion blossoms, willow buds,
mushrooms, etc. Insects (beetles, grasshoppers, grubs) are frequently
Crooked Run Valley