Chipmunk vs Squirrel – Difference and Comparison

What is Chipmunk?

A chipmunk is a small, striped animal belonging to the squirrels family. They give a chirping call and have the peculiar habit of storing food in their cheek pouches. Chipmunks are found throughout North America and are known for their energetic, curious nature. Chipmunks can survive cold weather through a variety of adaptations and behaviors. They have thick fur coats to insulate them from the cold, and they can use this fur to create additional warmth for themselves.

Chipmunks are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, insects, and even small rodents and birds. It is observed that they work during the day and utilize their sharp claws and teeth to dig for food and defend themselves from predators. Furthermore, chipmunks have been known to enter a state of inactivity, which is a state of reduced activity and body temperature, during freezing weather.

Chipmunks are also known for their ability to adapt to different environments. They have varying living habitats, ranging from forests and meadows to urban areas. However, they are at risk of habitat loss due to human development and other factors. Despite this, they are thought to be the most neglected species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

What is Squirrel?

Squirrels are a group of rodents that belong to the family Sciuridae. They are found in almost all regions and are characterized by their fine bushy tail and agile climbing abilities. There are over 200 species of squirrels, including tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and flying squirrels. Squirrels are found throughout the world, and they are known for their energetic, playful nature. They are also admired for their intelligence and adaptability.

Squirrels are primarily herbivorous, meaning they eat mostly plants. Squirrels are active during the day and have a diverse diet, including nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects. They are known for their ability to store food for the winter, and they bury their food in the ground or hide it in tree cavities. However, their food-storing habits can sometimes cause conflicts with humans, as they may bury food in gardens or dig up newly planted bulbs.

They can solve complex problems to obtain food and live in various environments, from forests and grasslands to urban areas. They can climb trees and other structures easily, using their sharp claws and strong hind legs. However, like many other species, squirrels face challenges due to habitat loss and other human-related threats.

Difference Between Chipmunk and Squirrel

  1. Chipmunks are smaller, with an average size of about six inches in length and a weight of about two ounces, whereas squirrels are larger with more weight.
  2. Chipmunks have distinctive black and white stripes on their backs, whereas squirrels can have a variety of colors, including gray, red, and brown.
  3. Chipmunks are native to North America, whereas squirrels can be seen in every region except Antarctica due to severe weather conditions.
  4. Chipmunks are omnivores, eating a diet of seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects, whereas squirrels primarily eat nuts and seeds.
  5. Chipmunks have the peculiar habit of collecting and storing food for the winter, whereas squirrels do not engage in this behavior to the same extent.

Comparison Table Between Chipmunk and Squirrel

Parameters of ComparisonChipmunkSquirrel
Color(s)Black & White StripsRed, Gray, and Brown
HabitatsPredominantly North AmericaAll Regions Except Antarctica
FoodSeeds, Nuts, InsectsNuts, Seeds, Fruits
DistinctivenessFood Collection & StorageHigh Jumps, Fast Speed