Also available in Notecard Assortment Packs #AST-502
called the woodchuck a whistle-pig because of the
loud whistling sound it makes when alarmed. The woodchuck, or
groundhog, is really a large ground-dwelling member of the squirrel
family. Woodchucks measure between 18 and 27 inches in length
and, depending on the time of year, weight from six to 15 pounds.
Active in the daytime for most of the year, woodchucks hibernate
in a burrow during winter.
are well equipped for excavating tunnels and dens. When burrowing,
chucks loosen dirt with their powerful front feet and kick it
backward with their hindfeet. Their rounded outer ears fold over
the ear openings to keep dirt out. And they can easily cut through
roots with their incisors.
winter hibernation, a woodchuck will lose between one-third and
one-half of its stored-up autumn weight. As soon as green plants
are plentiful in spring though, chucks will begin to gain weight
again in preparation for the next winter.
love to eat fresh greens, dining on such delicacies as alfalfa,
clover, berries and garden vegetables. Occasionally they will
eat insects such as grasshoppers or June bugs.
the United States, Groundhog Day is observed on February 2. According
to legend that originated with German immigrant farmers in colonial
times, groundhogs emerge from their dens on that day
to prophesy the duration of winter.
© 1996 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1996 Bill Harrah.