Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What does a woodchuck sound like?

Have you ever wondered what noises a woodchuck can make? I know I have.

Last weekend I was dog-sitting for my landlords. They live next to me, and are the owners of my puppy's parents. So it's a nice agreement, and our dogs get to play. Sometimes I get a kick back in rent, this time though they're building me a picnic table for my yard! :)

Anyway, last Saturday I let the dogs out of their kennel outdoors, and they both immediately bee-lined for this stack of cinder blocks. At first I thought they were just being stupid dogs, snarfling around. But then I heard something.

So I locked up the two big dogs, and Addie and I investigated.

Addie was interested and scared. She did not seem like she wanted to eat it (unlike poor Jumping Mouse and Baby Rabbit from a few entries ago...) so I was interested to know...who was in there?
A woodchuck!
I have a great fondness for New York's largest squirrel. Marmota monax -is that a cool scientific name or what?!- often gets a bad rap. Many people dislike them for the damage to yards and crops that they are so good at doing. I like them because although they are a squirrel, they are a formidable beast. They are capable of doing amazing metabolic things to make it through the winter months, they are excellent diggers, and they are cute. Come on, they are!
This woodchuck was displeased with his or her situation. I believe this guy was obviously old enough to be away from his mother. He looked totally developed and capable, just small. That hole in the cinder blocks was maybe 6 inches? And he wasn't stuffed in there. I tried to poke him out with a stick, but he opened his mouth and started yelling at me.
So before I left him alone and to his own devices, I took this video. It looks like I was blocking him in, which I guess I was. But he was not interested in moving out of his "den". I was just outside of the cinder blocks and took this video with my smart phone.
He was NOT budging with me peering in at him, and the dogs whining. So I left him. The next morning he was gone, so I can only hope he wandered away and found a more appropriate hole to live in!
No profound biological discoveries here, just some fun pictures and videos of an under appreciated rodent!


  1. Well, he is quite pretty when not hissing, guess he was trying to scare you off!! Greetings, Jean.

  2. That sound is exactly why the name "whistlepig" is so appropriate! :)

    Great observation!


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