Hey Kids! Do you want to learn all about groundhogs? Where do groundhogs live? What do groundhogs eat? How did they get their own holiday? Find out the answers to these questions and more with these fun groundhog facts for kids!
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What is a Groundhog?
Groundhogs are also known as woodchucks or whistle-pigs. They are rodents and are the largest animal in the squirrel family.
Where do Groundhogs Live?
Groundhogs live in the Eastern part of North America. Groundhogs live near fence lines, vegetable farms, cornfields, or fruit orchards.
What do Groundhogs Eat?
They are omnivores, meaning they eat meat and plants but, they mostly eat plants.
Groundhogs eat grasses, berries, vegetables, grasshoppers, insects, and snails.
Do Groundhogs Hibernate?
Groundhogs hibernate, meaning they spend their winter’s sleep. They hibernate from October to late March.
Groundhogs prepare for hibernation by putting on weight. Then they live off the stored fat until they come out of hibernation.
While hibernating they will go into a deep sleep. Their heart rate will slow down and their body temperature will drop to conserve energy through the winter.
Groundhog Facts for Kids
Groundhogs are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.
Groundhogs have a curved spine.
They can live up to 6 years old.
They are between 16 inches and 26 inches long with a 6-inch tail.
Groundhogs weigh between 9-15 pounds.
Groundhogs are burrowers. This means they dig tunnels underground. A burrow is a small tunnel or hole dug by a small animal.
They can move over 700 pounds of dirt when digging one burrow or den!
They use their burrows or dens for sleeping, caring for babies, and hibernation.
Groundhog burrows have between 2-5 entrances and can be 5 ft below the ground.
Groundhogs can swim and are excellent tree climbers.
They sometimes climb trees to get fruit.
Farmers do not like groundhogs because they eat their crops.
Male and female groundhogs will share a den until the female gives birth to the babies.
Female groundhogs give birth to a litter of 4-9 babies. When the female has her babies for male groundhog leaves the den until the young groundhogs are ready to leave the den.
A baby groundhog is called a kit or cub.
Babies are born hairless, helpless, and blind.
They open their eyes for the first time when they are around 4 weeks old.
They are born in the den and do not leave until they are 6-7 weeks old.
Predators are fox, raccoons, coyotes, and farm dogs.
Groundhog Day Facts for Kids
Groundhogs are famous for predicting Spring.
Groundhog Day is on February 2nd.
According to legend, if the groundhog comes out of his burrow on February 2nd and does not see his shadow then, Spring will come early.
If the groundhog sees a shadow, then it goes back into its burrow and there will be six more weeks of winter.
The largest Groundhog Day Celebration is held in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania.
People have been gathering in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to celebrate Groundhogs Day since the late 1800s.
The famous groundhog who predicts the weather in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania is Punxsutawney Phil.
How often is the groundhog right with predicting Spring? Many people argue that answer. Some say he is between 75%-90% correct others say 35%. Do you think the groundhog will see its shadow this year?.