Recent Sighting: Chimpunks and Bears

Posted on in Recent Sightings by Hawk Mountain

Chipmunk perched on a branch by the Visitor Center

Last week while conducting winter bird surveys, HMS Senior Research Biologist David Barber spotted a pile of black bear (Ursus americanus) scat and a chipmunk (Tamias striatus) scurrying around near the lookout.

David reports this is the earliest he’s ever seen evidence of bears and chipmunks coming out of hibernation. Mammals that hibernate during the winter months rely on temperature as a signal to halt their torpor and return to normal metabolic levels. Bears have been reported to be hibernating 15-39 days less per year.

Photo by Bill Moses.