May 10 2012

Baby Woodchucks!

Published by at 6:30 am under Mammals,Schenley Park

I walked home through Schenley Park on Tuesday hoping to see a lot of birds after the rain.  As usual the birds were not very active in the evening but I found something so cute it made me laugh:  two baby woodchucks!

I call them woodchucks because the word “groundhog” doesn’t fit something so cute.  They were compact and furry, the size of large guinea pigs and very naive.

At first they were oblivious to my presence but when I paused to watch they froze.  I moved again and they retreated into their den but they were so anxious to come out and play that they didn’t wait long enough for me to leave.  I took their picture with my cellphone when they came out again.

Extremely cute!  But they’ll have to learn to avoid predators or they’ll become breakfast for the red-tail babies.

(photo by Kate St. John)

p.s.  I went back on Wednesday with a nicer camera but the woodchucks didn’t make an appearance.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Baby Woodchucks!”

  1. Carol Smithon 10 May 2012 at 7:24 am

    My dad also called these guys whistle pigs. They are very hard on gardens, eating almost everything!

  2. jnyon 10 May 2012 at 1:18 pm

    A few years ago, I was travelling a remote wooded dirt road in the spring that was teeming with wildlife. After dodging dozens of bunnies, flushing a group of turkeys, and following a pheasant that had to run along the road ahead of me, I rounded a corner and there were two baby woodchucks each about the size of my hand. One popped up, looked at the oncoming vehicle, and scampered off the birm of the road to disappear into the grassy field.

    The other (tiny, little) one turned toward my approaching car, hunkered downed and I swear it bared it teeth and HISSED at a 3000 pound metal monster.

    I travelled that road several more times over the next week, and never saw that behavior again. I think I saw the pair a couple weeks later as larger furry lumps galumphing into the grass. But I’ll never forget the lil’ groundhog who stood his ground.

  3. Jonion 12 May 2012 at 11:17 am

    We have a family on our property–six little ones. Too cute!!

  4. Kate St. Johnon 12 May 2012 at 8:19 pm

    My goodness! This evening there was a baby woodchuck in my backyard. Fortunately I’m not growing anything special in my garden — mostly bulbs that are probably toxic (deer don’t eat them) — so the woodchuck spent time eating dandelion leaves in a gone-wild corner of the yard. Excellent! Mow down that corner! Eat all of it!

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