This sighting prompted me to find out more about woodchucks. Here's what I learned:
- Groundhogs are found from the eastern and central United States northward across Canada and into Alaska.
- In the wild, groundhogs can live up to six years with two or three being average.
- This animal is one of a few true hibernators. Groundhogs hibernate from late fall to late winter or early spring, which can add up to as many as six months of deep sleep.
- A groundhog can weigh up to about 13 pounds and has a body length of up to 20 inches. It has a bushy tail up to 7 inches long.
- Groundhogs are vegetarian. They eat grasses, other green plants, some fruits, and the bark and buds of trees.
- Groundhogs are good swimmers and can climb tall shrubs and trees.
- They build intricate homes. Their underground burrows include multiple “rooms” with different purposes, including a sleeping chamber, a nursery chamber, and a waste chamber. It can stretch anywhere from eight to 66 feet long.
- Groundhogs are preyed upon by several animals, such as wolves, coyotes, dogs, foxes, bobcats, lynxes and black bears. Birds of prey and snakes also hunt groundhogs.
- Groundhogs whistle at potential mates, which is why they are also known as “whistlepigs.”
- Groundhogs tend to be solitary, except in the spring when a typical litter of four to six young are born. The young stay with the mother for two to three months.
Information from: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/blog/groundhogs-facts/