Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Voracious Predatory Chipmunk

While We were at Bay Furnace Campground Near Pictured Rocks, and Keith was absent from the campsite, Mary watched a drama unfold. A chipmunk who had been nosing around the campsite all morning suddenly aroused the ire of a little chipping sparrow, who chipped madly and fluttered around sort of like a killdeer trying to lead a predator away from it's nest. The chipmunk paid no attention to it and began nosing around the area of open piney woods where the chipping sparrow was.

The sparrow then began attacking the chipmunk, pecking vigorously at its head. Then, Mary spotted a baby chipping sparrow fluttering about in the tall weeds and sparse tall grass. The chipmunk spotted it, too, and rushed after it and there was some furious scuffling where the baby was trying to flutter away, the chipmunk was trying to catch it, and the mother was pecking the chipmunk vigorously. Then, the chipmunk grabbed the baby by the throat and killed it and ran off about 20 feet and started eating it. Mary, who was trying to reposition herself to see better, accidentally scared off the chipmunk, who left the dead baby under a pine and never came back for it while we were still at camp. The mother chipping sparrow kept
searching and calling and searching and calling up until we left.

When we got back from our expeditions, hours later, we both checked, and the dead baby bird was gone from where the chipmunk left it. Since the chipmunk had already killed the bird, we hope he ate it.

This is not the first time that Mary has observed a chipmunk being predacious. She has also seen a chipmunk kill and eat a large water snake, big enough to have eaten it.


Tara's Talk said...

WOW Mary!!! Thanks for sharing that story!! I never knew chipmunks did such things!! LOL I love the sneaky little devils;)

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Chipmunks are SO VERY CUTE, but they are also amazing "vicious" at times--the snake it killed while I watched was big enough to eat the chipmunk and all of it's family!