Readers’ wildlife photos

June 13, 2014 • 4:29 am

No birds today (are you getting tired of them?), but Diana MacPherson sent us a photo of an extremely rare rodent: a Farming Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus agricola).

This chipmunk is a farmer. He planted sunflower seeds in the potted plant he is standing in. When the sunflower sprouted, he ate the sprout. This is what he has in his hands & part way stuffed in his mouth!


32 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Definitely not tired of the birds; keep ‘em coming! Also not tired of boots, noms, the Chicago skyline, the adventures of Hili or any other of the delightful side-dishes on this blog.

    Special thanks today to Diana for sharing her photo of this charming little farmer.

    1. Oops, you used that 4 letter word that’ll get you in trouble with the management here.

      Curiously, WP seems to use the same term as you did.

    1. 🙂 I think the babies are getting ready to spring forth from their various holes around my house. I think my place is a chipmunk refuge!

  2. In my previous dwelling, the squirrels would arrive when one large maple tree bloomed and gorge themselves on the maple flowers. It was cool. Happened every spring.

    1. There is one industrious chipmunk at the front of my place who gathers up maple keys, chews the “key” part off & stuffs them in his mouth to be stored.

      I just paid $200 to have a crazy amount of seeds removed from my vehicle’s air intake. I suspect a mouse though because the area is too small for a chipmunk. I’m working on a solution to “fence off” the stupid design flaw that leaves those ground level intakes open.

      1. I had mice nesting under my hood and my mechanic said to put moth ball things in there. Camphor I think. You can get them that have a hook on them and hang them from a thin pipe somewhere.
        They don’t last very long though due to the heat but I haven’t had mice since.

        1. Yeah they told me to put a jar of moth balls. There are open air intakes at ground level with my car that is the front door to the blower box and everything. I leave it on recycle for the air which at least blocks it and I’ve put steel wool in the air intakes as it sits. Damn you rodents!

  3. Now, we’ll see just how smart a farmer he is — if he lets any of the sprouts grow to maturity, and keeps planting some of the seeds from successive generations, then he may well be truly deserving of his epithet….


  4. For some reason I no longer get email updates from this website. I’ve tried signing back up but never get the emails to re-activate.

  5. Haven’t found any page by Googling the species name that gives evidence any chipmunk species deliberately plants seeds to produce edible shoots. Too late, I had already showed my six year old twin grandsons the charming MacPherson photo and told them the story, which they were skeptical about. Would like to find some evidence other than Diana’s observation.

    1. Yes I think that was for LOLz? My friend’ skids done believe my pictures if chipmunks are real. They tell her that chipmunks don’t pose like that. Ever wanting to inspire critical thinking, I asked her to ask them what purpose would I have to lie. Their answer: I’d do it for the LOLz. I think her kids know me too well.

      1. I guess then my post provided you with a big ROLF. Unfortunately, for more than a year, I have been using photos and videos posted on this website as tools for teaching adaptive evolution to my young grandsons, credulously relying on the source; now to maintain my own credibility, I’ll have to tell them it was a spoof, forever spoiling a good source. Of course, I didn’t use posted videos of cats speaking Polish or French for that purpose, but I got taken in by your pseudoscience, and although suprised that this “rare” species could form the mens rea to plant and harvest his stolen seeds, it didn’t seem that far beyond possibility, in light of ant mimicking spiders, or are those toungue-in-cheek too?

        1. Well, so I’m unfamiliar with internet slang, but…you get the point. I’ll be wary of you in the future.

          By the way, I like your website and blog and have bookmarked it to my science folder.


        2. Kudos for the efforts you’re making with your grandchildren. 🙂

          It actually can be hard to know what to believe and what to disbelieve when it comes to evolution, given all the wonderful stories that are true. Speaking of gardening, for instance, there are the leaf-cutter ants…

          In general, the real biology narratives here are much longer and do contain references, so if they don’t that might be a good sign that humor is intended.

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