Shared Moment: A Chipmunk's Aerial Picnic

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

01-30-2017 // Photograph by George Sanker

Least chipmunk feeding on spotted knapweed 

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.” 


NATIONAL WILDLIFE PHOTO CONTEST

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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.

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