What are chipmunk sounds like: noises & sounds

chipmunk sounds
Chipmunks make several different sounds. Chipmunks chirp, cluck, trill, chit, and croak. Chipmunks are diurnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the day. Because of this, most chipmunk vocalizations are heard during the daytime. 

The eastern chipmunk is the most common, but any type of chipmunk will create these noises. 

What kind of a sound does a chipmunk make?


Chipmunks will trill when a predator is chasing them. A trill is similar to an urgent scream.

Unlike most chipmunk sounds, the trill is not a repetitive sound. It usually will only consist of one or two noises. If the chipmunk trills twice, the second trill will not sound the same as the first trill.

The sound of trilling noises made by chipmunks is unpredictable because, unlike other chipmunk sounds, trills vary in their noise. Trills vary in frequency, length, and time interval between the individual sounds.

Chipmunk trills are harder to hear than other chipmunk noises because they aren’t repeated. 

Croaks and Chirps

Male chipmunks will croak and chirp while mating.

They make these sounds to attract and impress female chipmunks. Chipmunk mating occurs twice a year. The months that they mate depend on the weather in their location.

Typically chipmunks mate between February to April and June to August. This means that mating calls from chipmunks will not be heard in the winter months.


If a chipmunk is surprised or startled, it will emit a singular high-pitched sound known as a chit. This brief sound does not necessarily mean the chipmunk is in danger; instead, something sudden startled the chipmunk, such as thunder. 

Chipmunk on a tree branch with stuffed cheeks

What does it mean when chipmunks chirp?

When chipmunks chirp loudly, it means a predator is nearby. These chirps could warn a ground predator such as a raccoon or coyote.

Even though chipmunks are solitary creatures, they chirp to warn each other to hide in their burrows. Chipmunks will usually hide in their burrows after hearing this alarm call. Sometimes they won’t hide but will become more alert and carry less in their cheek pouches to make it easier to run away if necessary. 

When predators hear these chirps, sometimes they will decide not to attack because they know they’ve been spotted. Many animals want an easy meal, and digging chipmunks out of burrows wouldn’t be the easiest attack. 

Chipmunk chirps are high-pitched and often mistaken as bird sounds.

The chirps are repetitive and may only last a few seconds. The chirping can sometimes go on for several minutes and may even last for up to thirty minutes. Chipmunk chirps can also be called chips.

Chipmunks defend their burrows by using different chipping and chucking sounds. Chipmunks are territorial and may chirp at other chipmunks invading their space. They chirp to let others know the space has been claimed. 

When western chipmunks chirp, their sounds tend to be more high-pitched than the chirps of eastern chipmunks.

Why do chipmunks make a clucking sound?

When chipmunks cluck, they are warning other chipmunks of aerial predators. Large birds such as owls and hawks are common predators of chipmunks.

The clucking sound that chipmunks produce serves a similar purpose as the chirping sound, but the clucking is exclusively for birds. This sound is low-pitched and is also known as chucking.

Some people have reported this clucking noise sounds similar to a knocking sound. Just like chirping, clucking can go on for several seconds or many minutes.

When western chipmunks cluck, each clucking sound lasts longer than the clucks of eastern chipmunks. 

Chipmunk in a grassy area with dried leaves

What to do if you identify chipmunk sounds?

If you hear chipmunk sounds, the action you need to take depends on your location. No action needed if you are in a forest or wooded area and hear chipmunks’ sounds.

Chipmunks are not aggressive creatures and will leave you alone as long as you leave them alone. It may attack by biting and scratching if you try to corner or trap a chipmunk. 

If you hear chipmunk sounds coming from your yard, you may want to consider taking action to remove them. Chipmunks create deep burrows that can cause structural damage.

They can also ruin your yard by digging holes and eating plants. Chipmunks will use your bird feeders and trash cans as food sources. In the winter, chipmunks may seek shelter in your attic, garage, and shed.

Overall, chipmunks can be a nuisance in your yard, but it is up to the homeowner to decide if the chipmunk is a pest or not. If the chipmunks are dwelling in an area away from your house and aren’t disturbing your plants, you may see no need to remove them.

Below are some methods to remove chipmunks from your yard:

  • Install motion-activated sprinklers
  • Hang reflective tape
  • Apply rodent repellent spray on areas with chipmunk activity
  • Catch the chipmunk in a live trap and relocate it
  • Create your own spray using cayenne pepper or garlic
  • Put mothballs or dryer sheets in chipmunk holes
  • Plant daffodils
Chipmunk on wood deck, standing and reaching upwards with its paws

What sounds do chipmunks make inside walls?

If you hear scratching or animal sounds from inside your walls or on your ceiling, it is probably best to call a qualified pest control company. Since rodents are small, they can find their way into your homes by squeezing through small access points.

However, squirrels tend to remain in attics while chipmunks are small enough to work their way through walls. If you hear scratching and scurrying noises at night, you are more likely to be dealing with mice since they are nocturnal rodents.

Mice will also make squeaking noises that squirrels and chipmunks don’t make.


Whitney is a graduate of Georgetown College and a current graduate student at the University of the Cumberlands. She resides in the beautiful state of Kentucky, which she has always appreciated and endeavors to maintain the land's well-being. A lover of animals and the earth, Whitney strives to communicate accurate information that will help readers learn new information, ideas, and become informed stewards of the natural world.

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