There are eight species of squirrel in the United States, the most familiar being the eastern gray squirrel and the fox squirrel, which can be nuisances at bird feeders and cause some minor landscape problems. They sometimes eat crocuses and other bulbs, and make some holes as they search for nuts buried during another season. Their preferred diet is nuts, fruits, buds, bulbs, bark and birdseed.
Chipmunks are among the smaller members of the squirrel family, and are recognized by their stripes. They also feed on seeds, berries and some green plants. They sometimes uproot bulbs and plants. One reason is curiosity, and another is territoriality: The chipmunk smells your scent on the bulbs and digs them to find out what animal has invaded his territory.
By taking a few steps to minimize squirrel or chipmunk interference with your gardening and bird-feeding activities you may achieve friendly co-habitation, and hopefully you will enjoy the antics of these resourceful, lively animals.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Yates Association Last updated: 10/4/01