Shared Moment: A Chipmunk's Aerial Picnic

A photographer captures an image of a tiny critter's big leap of faith for a meal

  • Photograph by George Sanker
  • PhotoZone
  • Jan 30, 2017

DETERMINED TO DEFY GRAVITY, a least chipmunk ignores the snow—and nearby photographer George Sanker—to leap for spotted knapweed seeds on a cold October morning in Grand Teton National Park. Sanker had been tracking a large buck when he noticed two chipmunks scampering up these fragile stems to feast on the invasive weeds. “They did this continuously for about an hour,” says Sanker, who started shooting from a distance and slowly moved closer. “They didn’t care about me,” he says. “They were hungry.”


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This whimsical photograph, and countless other images that have appeared in our magazine, came to us through our photo contest. The 46th annual contest is open until March 20, 2017. Submit your best work and see if your image will one day appear on this page.


More from National Wildlife magazine and NWF:

Chipmunks: More Than Cute
Natural Inquiries: The Key to Chipmunk Chatter
Changing Climate Erodes Genetic Diversity of Mountain Chipmunks
Probing the Hidden World of Snow
NWF Blogs about Chimpmunks
Family Fun: Chipmunk Game

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