Why do groundhogs dig?
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Why do groundhogs dig?



Groundhogs are North American rodents that live all over USA and Canada. Groundhogs are rodents that are primarily diurnal, i.e. active during day, that consume vegetables, seeds and grass. Groundhogs eat lots of different foods and don’t pick out favorites, because they always have important task-to develop thick layer of fat under the skin, so that they can survive long winter in hibernation. Although they will eat almost anything, they will particularly enjoy consuming salad, clover, squash, and other juicy vegetables.

Groundhogs dig because they make their home underground. Groundhog dens are usually very elaborate constructions with long corridors, several rooms and two entrances and exits, one to be used regularly and other for the cases of emergency. In order to create such elaborate designs, groundhogs dig up to dozen feet underground, bringing excessive ground outside the entrance, thus creating high pile of dirt in front of the den entrance. This pile comes in handy for several purposes-they can finely see surroundings around their home and make sure that there will be no unexpected guests, while at the same time enjoying in the sun outside during warm days.

When it comes to other, safety entrance and exit, this one will be more undercover, secretive, covered with loose grass or bushes so that it isn’t that visible for strangers.

Groundhogs are diggers and they dig almost on a daily basis. They usually have several dens, most likely because there are lots of invaders who discover their den and inhabit it. It often happens with foxes, opossums, raccoons or skunks that don’t dig and that will take any appropriate shelter they find. Groundhogs are peaceful animals so they will rather go away and make new den, then fight for occupied one. For groundhog is much easier to go away and dig again, taking out pounds of soil, then get into possibly life-threatening battle for home.

Groundhogs love warm and dry homes, so if it happens that their den is in marsh land and gets too wet during heavy raining, they will leave such home and go in search for more appropriate grounds to make new, warmer and drier home. Groundhogs don’t even try to dig in sandy or rocky lands, or in swamp area.

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