What Is the Difference Between a Ground Squirrel and a Chipmunk?

One difference between a ground squirrel and a chipmunk is that a ground squirrel only has stripes on its back, while a chipmunk has stripes on both its head and back. Chipmunks can also be slightly smaller. They range in size from 6 to 12 inches long, whereas ground squirrels range from 8 to 13 inches long, depending on the species.

Ground squirrels and chipmunks often live in the same regions, which can make it tricky to tell them apart. Some species of ground squirrels lack stripes all together, which makes them easier to identify. However, some species, such as the golden-mantled ground squirrel, have stripes running down their backs.

Although both animals live in burrows, ground squirrels and chipmunks have different behaviors and habits. Ground squirrels usually live in open spaces such as grasslands and lawns. Some species also live in rocky landscapes and forests. However, they tend to make their burrows in open areas. Chipmunks usually live in wooded areas or near bushes, trees, walls or porches. They prefer to burrow near sheltered areas.

Both animals have similar feeding habits. Although they prefer to feed on seeds, nuts and berries, they can also eat insects, worms and small animals.