Updated: Feb 10
Well, according to groundhogs, we are in for more winter!
Did you know that groundhogs (or woodchucks) are a type of marmot? That means they are very close cousins to our local yellow-bellied marmot (though the latter doesn't seem have the same gift for weather prediction!).
All species of marmot live in social groups and use trills, whistles, and chucking noises to communicate, especially when they see a predator approaching. This loud communication technique has lead to groundhogs and other marmots being given the hilarious nickname "whistle-pigs"! Groundhogs and other marmots are also sometimes called woodchucks, but this nickname has nothing to do with wood or chucking. It's likely that this name is a very bad Anglicised mispronounciation of "wuchuk" (digger) from an Eastern Algonquian Indigenous language.