Woodchuck, or Groundhog, an American marmot. The woodchuck is a burrowing animal that ranges from Hudson Bay to South Carolina and westward almost to the Rockies. According to legend, it emerges from its hole on Groundhog Day (February 2) to see if winter is over. If it sees its shadow, the tradition goes, winter will last six more weeks; if there is no shadow, winter is over.
The woodchuck is a stout-bodied, short-legged animal with a broad head, a blunt muzzle, and claws well-adapted to burrowing. It grows up to 27 inches (69 cm) long, including its 7-inch (18-cm) bushy tail, and ranges in weight from 6 to 12 pounds (2.7 to 5.4 kg). It is commonly grizzled brown to black above and chestnut-red below.
The woodchuck feeds on grass, clover, and other vegetation. It sometimes does severe damage in fields and gardens. Humans, dogs, foxes, coyotes, wolves, and bears are its enemies.
Woodchucks dig long burrows, usually with two or more entrances and with a number of chambers. Woodchucks fatten themselves as cold weather approaches, and before winter closes in they retire to their burrows to hibernate until spring.
Two to eight blind, hairless, one-ounce (28-g) young are born in late spring or early summer. By late summer they are able to take care of themselves.The woodchuck has a broad head and claws well-adapted to burrowing.
This rodent is one of the largest members of the squirrel family. It is about 2 feet (61 centimeters) long from its head to the end of its tail. It lives in Canada and the eastern and midwestern United States.
The woodchuck is an excellent digger. It digs a large underground tunnel. The tunnel often has several entrances and can be up to 30 feet (9 meters) long. A woodchuck will dig many small rooms that connect to the tunnel. That’s some digging.
In the fall, the woodchuck digs a den where it goes to hibernate. The animal curls up in a ball and goes to sleep. It usually stays inside the den for the entire winter. In the United States, people watch for the rodent to come out of its den on Groundhog Day, February 2. Some people believe that if the animal sees its shadow on that day, there will be six more weeks of winter weather.
The woodchuck is Marmota monax of the squirrel family, Sciuridae.