Townsend's Chipmunk

Townsend's Chipmunk

As already noted, more than birds are seen at the BirdCam station.  This is a Townsend's Chipmunk (Tamias townsendii) said to be one of the largest of the western chipmunks.  It is also called Neotamias townsendii, but I don't know why.  They belong to the Sciurid family along with squirrels, marmots, woodchucks and prairie dogs.  They are named after naturalist John Kirk Townsend.

Townsend's Chipmunk

Their range extends from the southwest corner of British Columbia through western Washington and Oregon.  Their colors are darker than other chipmunks, explained as a characteristic of species living in moist climates.  I haven't quite reasoned that out yet.  Coloration is sometimes an adaptation for camouflage.  Perhaps it's because our landscape colors tend to be darker than, say, the pastels of a desert.

Townsend's Chipmunk

Of all the creatures that visit the garden, these are among the most appealing.  I have never minded them visiting the feeders.  They're not nearly as greedy as the Eastern Gray Squirrels.  They gather food in their cheeks and hoard it in their burrows.  You can attract them to your yard by creating brush or rock piles in out-of-way places.

Townsend's Chipmunk
"Mmm, ffese ffunffower ffeeds are really good!"

Townsend's Chipmunk

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