Groundhog Day is back, and once again we'll find out if the beloved groundhog sees his shadow. We know it doesn't really matter in Central New York - of course we're in for another six weeks of winter. But it sure is fun to watch and laugh about.

You can watch streaming video at VisitPA's special page, which will go live Friday, February 2, 2018 at 6am.

While we wait for the big exciting moment, check out some Groundhog Facts from

  • The average groundhog is 20 inches long and normally weighs from 12 to 15 pounds. Punxsutawney Phil weighs about 20 pounds and is 22 inches long.
  • Groundhogs are covered with coarse grayish fur tipped with brown or sometimes dull red. They have short ears, a short tail, short legs, and are surprisingly quick. Their jaws are exceptionally strong.
  • A groundhog's diet consists of lots of greens, fruits, and vegetables and very little water. Most of their liquids come from dewy leaves.
  • A groundhog can whistle when it is alarmed. Groundhogs also whistle in the spring when they begin courting, hence their nickname as a “whistlepig.”
  • Insects do not bother groundhogs and germs pretty much leave them alone. They are resistant to the plagues that periodically wipe out large numbers of wild animals. One reason for this is their cleanliness.
  • Groundhogs are one of the few animals that really hibernate. Hibernation is actually a deep coma, where the body temperature drops to a few degrees above freezing, the heart barely beats, the blood scarcely flows, and breathing nearly stops.
  • Young groundhogs are usually born in mid-April or May, and by July they are able to go out on their own. The size of the litter is four to nine. A baby groundhog is called a kit or a cub.
  • A groundhog's lifespan is normally six to eight years. Phil receives a drink of a magical punch every summer during the annual Groundhog Picnic, which gives him seven more years of life.


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