How do I identify groundhog burrows?


Quick Answer

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, construct two different types of burrows: one for use in the summer and one for use in the winter. Summer burrows feature multiple openings that are about 10 to 12 inches in diameter and situated about 20 feet away from each other. Summer burrows are often more conspicuous than winter burrows, which have only one opening and are usually located in areas with dense cover.

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Full Answer

Groundhogs construct burrows with multiple nests, each of which contains a leaf litter substrate to provide warmth and comfort. Groundhogs tend to their burrows regularly, and they replace the leaf litter in the nests often. The primary nest is usually located at the end of the main tunnel, while auxiliary nests may be positioned anywhere in the tunnel system. A pile of removed dirt is usually visible at the opening of the main tunnel.

Groundhogs rarely stray more than 150 feet from their burrows. They rely on their burrows for protection from predators as well as to avoid inclement weather. Groundhogs are diurnal creatures that primarily feed during the early morning and late evening hours. As they are herbivorous, groundhogs subsist on legumes, grasses and vegetables, such as soybeans, alfalfa, clover and carrot tops.

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