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Old 07-03-2010, 07:41 PM   #1
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chipmunk Where o' where are our little munker-dos?

This is Greylock's wife We've come up with a bit of a query. I grew up in West Virginia, but also around the Hamilton area.

We had two species there .. chipmunks and red squirrels. (Well, we had more fox squirrels in WV, but red squirrels around Hamilton)

We live in Southwestern Ontario in the Carolinian Zone.. but there are NO chipmunks and red squirrels. My husband and I have taken MULTIPLE hikes and never seen either of them. We've even spoken to my husband's mother and grandmother and they have never seen either of them in our town during their lives here. (Mother lives off the back of a conservation area, Grandma lives on the front of 10 acres of wildlands)

You can go North and find them, east and find them... Why not us?

Thanks for your insight!!
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:31 PM   #2
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Do you have any spruce trees in your area? As far as I know, the red squirrels live around white spruces.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:14 AM   #3
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well to be whole heartedly honest I am not a tree person par say , and neither is my wife. We do a much better time at identifying wild flowers and their likes with our field guide's.

But after a short wile with the all mighty google and looking at some past pictures we have taken in the conservation areas in our area i would say their is tree's in the spruce family in our area. The dominate tree's in our area would be black walnut, oaks , willows, various maples and hawthorns.

Though in my own yard i do have two black walnut tree's an American elm , one black maple , and two tree's that are similar to the walnut but leaf patterns differ so we have no idea what they are.

This all just stems form me and my wife noticing we are missing a animal in our eco-system and wondering what is wrong or different in our area.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:25 AM   #4
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Hi! The diet of the red squirrel is specialized to the seeds of conifer cones. Sounds like in your area you have primarily deciduous trees. I've learned on my hikes that when the primary tree cover is broad leaf, the dominant squirrel is the grey. When the primary tree cover is needled, the dominant squirrel is the red.

In your neighboring counties/towns, where you have seen healthy populations of reds, they most probably also have healthy populations of evergreen conifers.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:16 AM   #5
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And if you really want some, I can bring you a bundle of chipmunks! They can be a nuisance, but, anyway, I would miss them if they weren't around.

I hope that "walnut look-a-like" is not ailanthus.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benj1 View Post
And if you really want some, I can bring you a bundle of chipmunks! They can be a nuisance, but, anyway, I would miss them if they weren't around.
Have you ever read Chipmunks on the Doorstep? Your post reminded me of the book, so I added it to the library. Chipmunks on the Doorstep (Tunis)
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:58 PM   #7
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benj no it would not be that one , the trees do leaf shape is simular to the walnuts , but they are not conneted to that green strip or common branch like that tree or the walnut

and just out of curiosity dose it mean that the chipmunk also feeds on conifer cones
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:22 PM   #8
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The range of the Eastern Chipmunk includes southeastern Canada, and their diet includes "seeds". So I would infer that they would eat conifer seeds. They might not be in your area because either there are too many predators (Long-tailed Weasel, hawks, foxes, Bobcat and house cat) or there is not enough of their preferred foods.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:48 AM   #9
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Do you have a lot of stray cats around? Stray cats do a number on the chipmunks I've got. There's one big tomcat that I've seen kill two so far this year and that was fluke that I saw what I saw since he seems to hang out on the outskirts of my lawn where he blends in to the wooded area. The chipmunks came out to see if any seed was left around the bottom of the birdfeeder and pounce.... he had them both times. I put a black pvc drain tube at the base of the birdfeeder just in case they couldn't make it back to their holes in time. That should help. Other critters that think chipmunks are tasty are hawks and coyotes. If you have any of those hanging around that might solve a part of the mystery. Coyotes have moved into Canada.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:12 AM   #10
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well we do have the odd stray cat that you see , but i would say not any more then the norm . But we do have a lot of Hawks in the area , there is not a day when you look up that you can not see at-least four or five in the sky gliding along. Also out of the list of predators that benj1 sorta suggested i have seen foxes in my area, normally i have one or two siteings of those guys a year.

Also due to owning three ferrets as pets i know there is long tailed weasels in the area, simply because many hunters say they have seen ferrets in the woods, and to my knowledge ferrets can not survive our winters here at all, and can not go "wild" like some of my co-worker hunters seem to try and tell me.

so i guess my mystery has been somewhat solved , i have to many predators in my area ... to bad i thought they were cute. It really struck me as odd when i visited my in-laws we saw teems of them, and i had to admit i had never seen one before (outside of media at-least )
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carolinian, chipmunk, chipmunks, conifers, decidous, deciduous forest, grey, ground squirrel, missing, munkerdos, ontario, pine, pine trees, pines, red, red squirrels, spruce, spruce tree, squirrel, squirrels, wildlife

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