Always make sure that the cheek pouches are empty before scruffing.
They are less likely to bite and they don't have the ability to turn around in their skin like a hamster because the skin is tighter and without the excess of cheek pouches.
Previous experience with trapping squirrels in our area indicated Polygonum seeds and rhizomes would be common items carried in cheek pouches.
We never observed material in the cheek pouches in any of 160 juvenile females trapped 375 times.
Males and females also carried different material in their cheek pouches (Pearson's [chi square] = 11.
Other genera commonly found in the cheek pouches of males were Luzula, Carex, Ranunculus, Potentilla, Cerastium, Draba, Cardamine, and Eutrema.
For arctic ground squirrels, we found clear intersexual differences in the frequency with which squirrels carried material in their cheek pouches, when they carried material, and what they carried (Figs.
Thus, the timing of males carrying material in their cheek pouches in our study is consistent with their results (McLean and Towns, 1981).
When a chipmunk encountered a bait station, it typically ate one or two seeds and then filled its cheek pouches and carried a load of seeds away.
If I captured a chipmunk, I checked its cheek pouches for traces of radioactivity (to confirm that it was the chipmunk I had been observing), weighted it, and determined its sex and age.
In both cases, I found a single seed of one load cached with numerous seeds of the next load, suggesting that this chipmunk had twice returned to the bait station with one seed in its cheek pouches.