Groundhog Day

These past few weeks, as the weather has warmed, I've seen more groundhogs around than ever before. I know that's not saying much considering I'd never seen one in real life before, but I love them! They're even more exciting than seeing squirrels and that's saying a lot!

Photo:  Havahart

Photo: Havahart

To celebrate these super cute rodents, I'm going to share nine facts about them. Nine because I couldn't find a tenth fact that I found interesting enough, haha!

  1. Groundhogs are related to one of my other favorite animals to watch - squirrels! They're the largest species in the squirrel family.

  2. Other names for groundhogs include woodchucks, whistle-pigs, and land-beavers. Who knew woodchucks and groundhogs were the same thing.

  3. Groundhogs are skilled climbers and swimmers, which helps them to escape less-skilled predators.

  4. Groundhog burrows are so complex that each has its own "bathroom" chamber.

  5. Groundhog burrows are known to have been responsible for uncovering a historic village in central Ohio - now a famous archeological site.

  6. Groundhogs are diurnal (active during the day) from spring to fall. Most activity occurs during the early morning and early evening hours.

  7. During hibernation, A groundhogs heartbeat slows from 80 beats per minute to 5, which sounds crazy to me.

  8. Groundhogs communicate with one another using high-pitched shrills to warn each other of approaching threats.

  9. The groundhog prefers open country and the edges of woodland, which perfectly describes the area around our outdoor track, hence why I've seen them almost every day. I assume.

Photo Source:  National Geographic Kids