Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I suppose I should be warned by the fact that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' website only describes the woodchuck (or groundhog, or marmot, or whistle pig), in the context of management of nuisance animals and doesn't bother to list it in its main Mammals section. But I can't help but get excited when I see a relatively unfamiliar animal in the back yard, even if I know it probably wants to eat (and eat, and eat) our garden vegetables. I've only seen these a couple of times before, though I've now seen this one (assuming it's the same one) two or three times in the past several days. So here's a more complete guide (pdf) to the ecology (and control) of the woodchuck from the University of Wisconsin Extension.

Woodchuck passing our rear neighbor's fenced vegetable garden

Pausing for a moment in our yard. I later saw it on our deck!


Jim H. said...

Whistle pig? Hadn't heard that term before, but I like it! In the south, they presumably call it the whistlin' Dixie pig...?

Penelope said...

Jim -- I hadn't heard it either until looking up woodchucks. One source also says it's sometimes referred to as a "land beaver," but that seemed too silly to repeat. Oops, but now I did.


Très beau travail.