Did you know a whistle pig is another term for a groundhog? Akin to a woodchuck, this North American rodent is renowned for its early springtime foraging.
Why Are Groundhogs Called Whistle Pigs
Now that you know that the whistle pig is nothing more than a traditional woodchuck or groundhog, you are probably wondering why in the world they are referred to as whistle pigs.
How could such a creature like this get a name like a whistle pig?
Well, it’s simple really. Simple, but somewhat interesting!
The name comes from the fact that the creature will emit a high-pitched alarm or warning that sounds like a whistle.
He’ll do this when he is alarmed, and it will be a warning to the rest of his or her colony.
This could mean that there is a predator nearby or a human threat.
Anything that is enough to alarm the little guy and he won’t hesitate to let this rest of his clan know that danger is just right around the corner.
Interestingly enough, these creatures are sometimes referred to as woodchucks.
Did you know that the name woodchuck has nothing at all to do with wood, chucking, or chucking of wood?
The name actually comes from the Algonquian name for the critter, wuchak.
Whistle Pig Animal Sounds
So, you just learned that the groundhog, the woodchuck, of the whistle pig emits a loud, high-pitched whistling noise when he is alarmed.
He does this to alert the rest of his colony that danger is nearby.
Despite this, this is not the only sound that these critters are capable of producing.
In fact, you might be surprised to learn these critters are more than capable of communicating through a wide range of sounds.
These sounds could include anything from barking, chattering, growling, hissing, and shrieking.
Pretty interesting, right?
Well, what’s even more interesting is that they also possess the ability to communicate through their scent glands.
These creatures will oftentimes inhabit fields, pastures, and wooded areas near open land, so it is not at all uncommon for an average homeowner near one of these locations to hear a whistle pig communicating with its colony.
These sounds can clearly be distinguished from other pests, so you’ll know right away if you are might be dealing with an infestation nearby.
When they find themselves cornered or are simply angry about something they’ll chatter their teeth real loud.
When they are startled they will produce a low warble that sounds something similar to a chuck-chuck.
And, then you also have the high-pitched whistle sound that they’ll make when they are alarmed.
They make this sound as to alert the rest of their colony that danger is just on the horizon.
Typical Whistle Pig Problems
It is not at all uncommon for whistle pigs to inhabit residential areas.
Indeed, their diets consist of sundry fruits, vegetables, and decorative plants like apples, lettuce and roses, making your garden a culinary paradise.
If the opportunity presents itself, you best rest assured that they’ll jump right on it.
While they might seem like cute and cuddly creatures that won’t cause a problem, they can be quite hazardous to your yards and gardens.
First, they most like to travel underground, which means that are going to build complex underground chambers that will weaken areas of the yard.
Their burrows can even oftentimes weaken foundations, cause injuries to livestock, and damage lawnmowers.
You might even walk over one of these weakened areas and fall in.
Addition to this, these creatures not only pose a threat to your yard and gardens, but they are not to carry and transmit various parasites and diseases.
Therefore, if you hear any of the above-mentioned sounds, you’ll want to look for ways to eliminate the infestation.
These creatures can be crafty when they want to be, and your best option might be to opt for professional removal.
Add to this, the propensity of yellow-bellied marmots to form large colonies, and you could be facing a major infestation. Explore these links for tips on how to respond.
How Long Do Whistle Pigs Live?
Whistle pigs, by nature, live rather briefly, usually no longer than 3 to 6 years. Their lifespan might fluctuate, however, due to elements such as prey animals, the state of their habitat, or the availability of food.
Are Whistle Pigs Edible?
Indeed, whistle pigs are deemed edible in certain cultures. Careful preparation is essential to avoid unwanted taste, mostly by removing the scent glands under their forearms and lower back. For culinary enthusiasts, the "Whistle Pig Stew" recipe uses marmot as its main component, though it's not commonly consumed.