Order: Rodentia, Family: Sciuridae
Appearance/Behavior: This medium-sized (41-67 cm) mammal has grayish brown fur with darker feet. The underside has a somewhat cinnamon brown coloration, particularly towards the anterior. The woodchuck has a squat build, lacking a well-defined neck (blue arrow). Its ears are short, and its tail is of medium length (red arrow). As it walks, its short legs provide little distance between its underbelly and the ground. At the compost piles, the woodchuck sometimes sits on its haunches with its forelegs elevated. All pile visits have involved solitary individuals.
Relative Frequency of Visitation in Study: Regular, but infrequent, visitors
Seasonal Activity: Spring and summer. Woodchucks hibernate during the winter.
Daily Activity: Strictly diurnal.
Similar Species: Size, coloration, and posture might suggest a cottontail. The woodchuck, however, lacks the rabbit’s long ears and extended hind legs. When sitting on its haunches, a woodchuck with its arched back may resemble a gray squirrel (see image to left above).