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Merriam's chipmunk Neotamias merriami)        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Chipmunks are an attractive and species-rich group, especially in mountainous regions in the western US and Canada; other species occur in eastern North America and in Eurasia.  All are active, alert, and fast-moving.   Merriam's chipmunks are found in coastal mountains in central and southern California, and just barely into Baja California.   They are medium-sized and fairly dull-colored chipmunks, especially compared to the lodgepole chipmunk, which is found in some of the same mountains.   Merriam's chipmunk is very similar to the California chipmunk.   I photographed these in Santa Lucia Mountains, in Monterey County (bottom 3) and at the Black Mountain fire lookout in the San Jacinto mountains in Riverside County (more photos here).   Several other chipmunk species can be found in California, including the high-altitude alpine chipmunk found above treeline, the yellow-pine chipmunk, yellow-cheeked chipmunk, and the least chipmunk.

  • Canon 7DII; 800 mm IS with 1.4X converter or 100-400 Mk. II zoom, fill-in flash (2015, 2016)