We first noticed melanistic chipmunks on our property several years ago. The first was a loner and the other chipmunks were very intolerant of it's presence and attacked it constantly. That chipmunk was entered into the state journal of record as the first melanistic chipmunk to ever be documented in Michigan. We fondly named him 'Blackie' and he was quite a little scrapper.
Two years later we had a single melanistic youngster, that was very bonded with it's small siblings. They played together and unlike the first melanistic, it wasn't attacked by other chipmunks. Unfortunately hard rains caused them to leave their burrows early and soon afterwards a pair of weasels moved onto our property, and eventually they killed out all of the chipmunks, 'Blackie Jr.' included. We feared the genepool had probably been wiped out and wondered if we'd see another melanistic chipmunk again.
Today we noticed two very tiny melanistic youngsters out near one of our bird feeding areas. They're both extremely small, even for a young chipmunk, but they appear to be healthy and they're exploring the grounds around our deck area.
I hope to add more images of them in time as they're quite beautiful little creatures, but they're difficult to photograph and can run like the wind. We've now fondly named them AC and DC.. they're 'back in black' :)
6-19-10 Update: A large male N. Goshawk carried DC away today. :(
AC only comes into the open rarely now, which is probably best, since we have so many predator birds/mammals here.
3-19-11 Update: AC made his appearance a couple of days ago much to our delight- warmer temps and melting snow/ice have brought the chipmunks out of their burrows. We're thrilled that he/she survived a very rough winter.
You can view images of my hubby hand-feeding AC and our other resident chipmunks here: http://www.woodsongphoto.com/chipmunkwhisperer
Final update: AC was killed by a feral cat today. We've been trying to trap the once domestic cat for over a month, but it's too smart to go into a trap. PLEASE KEEP YOUR CATS INDOORS! Cats are killing machines and have no place in the wild. This scrappy little chipmunk survived a very hard winter and all threats in the wild, but it was no match for a domestic cat that has wreaked havoc on our resident wildlife simply because it's former owner was too irresponsible to care for it property. RIP AC, you'll be sorely missed :(