Thursday, September 18, 2008

Can a Chipmunk Swim?

I think probably most people in North American are familiar with Chipmunks, or at least have heard of them. Let's see, what do we know about them? Well, first of all I think they're cute, and the one pictured here is what we call our resident Chipmunk, for we figure it lives under our garden shed. Chipmunks are members of the Squirrel family but while squirrels make their nests in hollow trees or among tree branches, Chipmunks live in underground burrows. This small mammal, of about 9 1/2 inches long, is easily identified by the seven stripes on its back, five dark and two light.

But back to my title question and why do I ask? And why do I answer my own question of, "Can Chipmunks swim?," by saying, "Yes".Well if you saw a Chipmunk on a rock in the middle of the river you would wonder too. How did it get there? It looks quite spry and healthy so I don't think it was prey of a large bird that might have dropped it there. And if dropped could it have been so lucky as to land on a small rock in the middle of a fair sized stream of water? I think it must have swam there.
I stumbled upon this Chipmunk on a rock, in the middle of a river just by chance. While standing beside the river the other day I noticed that the water was breaking in a V shape around a small object, and I had wondered if it might be a duck swimming in the water upstream. I never carry binoculars so I took a look, and a picture, through my telephoto lens to bring it closer in sight and concluded that it was only a rock. Only after I was back home downloading pictures did I see that on another rock, closer to the lower left in the photo above, was a Chipmunk!

What a fun and surprising discovery this was!

10 comments:

Mary said...

That is just so cute and I would never have guessed that they could swim! I wish I had chipmunks here. Maybe you will have to put in a low birdbath for your resident to swim in :-)

kjpweb said...

Same here - never would have guessed. But then on second thought - it is a rodent and most rodents have a blast in the water...
Cool!
Cheers, Klaus

me ann my camera said...

mary and klaus:
What a fun discovery this was! Sometimes making discoveries when downloading pictures is almost as much fun as the actual sighting while being in the field. But it sure would have been fun to wait and watch it swim away if I had of known then. Glad you both enjoyed my discovery too.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

A great find this one, they must look great in the water, I'm sure they can swim fine most things can.

Becky and Gary said...

I've seen many a Chippy, but never thought of whether they could swim or not. What a super find.

Arija said...

Love your chipmunk post too.

Michelle's Rambling Woods said...

How cute they are. I used to see some at our cabin, but not here..

2sweetnsaxy said...

Awwww... how cute they are! I think I would have wondered if they could swim too. Now I know.
:-)

Bird Colibri said...

Funny, my roommates and I have all echoed the posts above. I had no idea that chipmunks could swim. On some level it makes sense and seems like something that shouldn't seem weird, you know?

Nick S said...

He's quite different from our Chipmunks like the one I posted recently. I'll have to look yours up...:-)