Chipmunks are reddish-brown in color with five black stripes on their backs. These stripes are separated by brown, white, or gray colors. Their pouched cheeks are used to store and carry food.
Learn More: ODNR Species Guide Index
Chipmunks are an important part of the ecosystem for plants, soil and other animals. They aerate soil, they disperse seeds and they dig burrows used by other wildlife to survive the winter months. They are also great communicators—their survival as small, vulnerable rodents (members of the squirrel family) depends on their constant chatter back and forth. They have a high pitched chirp to indicate a predator or danger is on the ground, and a low-pitched signal for danger in the air. They make about 30 other sounds to communicate with other chipmunks and their own young, and if we could hear all these sounds, we might feel that we were standing in the middle of a gathering of a hundred people all talking at once!