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least chipmunk

Tamias minimus


The smallest of the species, measures approximately 6-10 inches in length and weighs up to 2-1/3 oz. Distinguishable by three darker lines with white in between along their face and five narrow black stripes with brownish edges and white in between along their back. The tail is orange-brown and their sides are reddish-brown/grey. Their bellies are white/light grey. As you can see in one image, chipmunks have large cheek pouches that are for the transport of food. When full, the cheek pouches can be nearly the size of their body.


Coniferous forests, mixed deciduous and boreal forests, and sagebrush plains. This particular spotting was along the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail just short of Bullhead Lake, in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park in northwest Montana.


As I rounded the corner en route to Bullhead Lake, I came face-to-face with this little guy who was furiously gathering seeds from the bear grass stalk. He was so focused on his task that it didn't seem to bother him that I was very nearby. He went about his business while keeping a close eye on me before finally scampering away. It was such a treat!

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BethAngermeier 8 years ago

Thank you, Ashley :)

AshleyT 8 years ago

How cute! Love those cheeks stuffed with seeds haha. I love seeing chipmunks, always have found them to be so entertaining to watch!

BethAngermeier 8 years ago

Thank you, Luis :)

LuisStevens 8 years ago

Great series Beth!

BethAngermeier 8 years ago

My pleasure - thank you again :)

lhankin 8 years ago

Thank you! Your photo will be highlighted on Tuesday, September 30. Afterwards, you’ll be able to see your photo for about a month in the Pic of the Day Collection ( Thanks again for contributing to The Great Nature Project!

BethAngermeier 8 years ago

I'd be really honored :) Thanks so much!

lhankin 8 years ago

Congratulations! We would like to highlight this photo as National Geographic’s Great Nature Project Pic of the Day! It will be featured in the lower left corner on The Great Nature Project website, as well as on NG Education Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts.

We will attribute this photo to you by using your username, BethAngermeier. Once we hear back from you (either here or via email to, we’ll let you know which date we’ll highlight your photo. Please respond within 72 hours to let us know if you have any questions or concerns. If we don’t hear from you by then, we’ll assume everything is okay and we’ll share your image. Thank you for sharing your observations with The Great Nature Project!

BethAngermeier 8 years ago

Thanks, guys :) I thought he was pretty awesome too!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 8 years ago

So cute. I'm in love with these little guys. Wish we had them here.

Spotted by

Montana, USA

Spotted on Aug 20, 2014
Submitted on Sep 12, 2014

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