Staten Island Chuck

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Staten Island Chuck's 2010 house.

Staten Island Chuck, also referred to more formally as Charles G. Hogg, is a groundhog who resided in the Staten Island Zoo in Staten Island, New York City. He serves as the official groundhog meteorologist of New York City, who predicts the duration of winter each February 2 on Groundhog Day. The tradition dates back to 1981.[1] He makes the prediction based on whether or not he sees his shadow during the ceremony between 7:00 A.M. - 7:30 A.M. on Groundhog Day. The ceremony at the zoo is sometimes attended and officiated by the Mayor of New York City. Chuck's prediction for 2019 was early spring, the same as Punxsutawney Phil.[2]

Chuck had a contentious relationship with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whom he notoriously bit in 2009.[3] In 2013, the mayor did not attend the ceremony for the fifth time out of 12 years in office. No reason for his absence was provided.[4] Because of the Bloomberg incident, Chuck was secretly replaced by his granddaughter, Charlotte, for the first ceremony of Bill de Blasio. Despite this, de Blasio dropped the groundhog during his first ceremony.[5] Charlotte died February 9, 2014, although the Staten Island Zoo did not make this public until several months later. Reports conflict about the cause of death; a report in the New York Post attributed the death to injuries sustained in the de Blasio incident, a charge that the zoo denies (the zoo's official stance is that Charlotte was not injured in the fall and that she died of unknown natural causes).[6][7]

Chuck's daughter, Charlotte Jr., served in the same capacity for 2015.[6] On February 2, 2015, this female "Staten Island Chuck" walked out of a hutch that an elevator had lifted onto the stage of a portable Plexiglass habitat, while de Blasio watched from six feet (1.8 m) away.[8] De Blasio did not attend the 2016 ceremonies, as he was in Iowa campaigning for Hillary Clinton's Presidential bid; Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul officiated the groundhog ceremony in de Blasio's stead (Hochul is not a New York City resident or native; her home territory of Western New York is served by a rival groundhog, Dunkirk Dave).[9] He likewise skipped out on the 2017 ceremony, with multiple city officials overseeing the event that year. Although the original Chuck (as far as it is known) is still alive, he has been permanently retired out of fear he may bite again.

For the purpose of consistency, an early spring is defined as there being a majority of days with a high temperature of over 40 °F (4 °C) between Groundhog Day and the March equinox inclusive.[10]

Past predictions[edit]

The Staten Island Zoo claimed that Chuck correctly predicted the duration of winter 26 out of 32 years as of 2013, an 82% success rate.[11]

Year Prediction Notes
2019 Early spring
2017 Early Spring[12] Opposite Punxsatawney Phil
2016 Early spring[2] Concurred with Punxsutawney Phil
2015 Early spring[13] Opposite Punxsutawney Phil
2014 6 more weeks of winter[14] Concurred with Punxsutawney Phil
2013 Early spring[4] Concurred with Punxsutawney Phil
2012 Early spring[15] Opposite Punxsutawney Phil
2011 Early spring[16] Concurred with Punxsutawney Phil (Featured on 1 episode of Cake Boss).
2010 Early spring[17] Opposite Punxsutawney Phil
2009 Early spring[18] Opposite Punxsutawney Phil
2008 Early spring[19] Opposite Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of six more weeks of winter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Beyond Punxsutawney: Meet the Other Groundhogs" by Elizabeth Hanes. February 1, 2013[1]
  2. ^ a b Rosenberg, Eli (February 2, 2016). "Staten Island Groundhog Makes Star Turn, This Year Without de Blasio". N.Y./Region. New York, New York: The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 14, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  3. ^ Santos, Fernanda (February 2, 2009). "Reclusive Staten Island Groundhog Bites Mayor". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
    (2) McWeeney, Michael (February 2, 2009). "Mayor Bloomberg bitten by groundhog" (video). Staten Island Advance. YouTube. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Lemire, Jonathan (February 2, 2013). "Groundhog Day 2013: Staten Island Chuck predicts early spring for New York City: Chuck did not see his shadow when he came out of his burrow at the Staten Island Zoo this morning". Daily News. New York, New York. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  5. ^ (1) DeFalco, Beth; Tacopino, Joe (February 2, 2014). "De Blasio drops NYC's Punxsutawney Phil'". New York Post. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
    (2) Wrobleski, Tom. Fumbled Chuck joins 'forkgate' among de Blasio's Staten Island flubs (photos, video). Staten Island Advance. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Tacopino, Joe; Campanile, Carl; O'Neil, Natalie (September 25, 2014). "Zoo in coverup after groundhog dropped by de Blasio dies". New York Post. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Gay, Mara (September 25, 2014). "Staten Island Groundhog Dies Days After Mayor de Blasio Drops It" (video). Blogs: Metropolis. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  8. ^ (1) Flegenheimer, Matt (February 2, 2015). "New Rule for Mayor de Blasio and Staten Island Chuck: Hands Off On Groundhog Day, a New Script and a Sign of Spring in New York City". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
    (2) Washington Free Beacon Staff (January 8, 2015). "De Blasio banned from holding groundhog after last year's cold-blooded murder". Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Sources: Hochul will replace de Blasio for Groundhog Day duties". Politico New York. January 29, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  10. ^ Groundhog Day 2017: Staten Island Chuck calls for an early spring
  11. ^ Lavis, Ryan. "Groundhog Day 2014: Staten Island Chuck versus Punxsutawney Phil" Staten Island Advance (February 1, 2014)
  12. ^
  13. ^ Steussy, Lauren (February 2, 2015). "Groundhog Day 2015: Staten Island Chuck calls for an early spring". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  14. ^ Tom Wrobleski (February 2, 2014). "Fumbled Chuck joins 'forkgate' among de Blasio's Staten Island flubs (photos, video)". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  15. ^ Silverstein, Irving (February 2, 2012). "Groundhog Day 2012: Staten Island Chuck predicts early spring". Staten Island Advance. Staten Island, NY.
  16. ^ "Groundhog Day 2011: It's an early spring! Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow". Staten Island Advance. Staten Island, NY. February 2, 2011.
  17. ^ McWeeney, Michael (February 2, 2010). "Staten Island's famous Groundhog Chuck calls for an early spring". Staten Island Advance. Staten Island, NY.
  18. ^ Silverstein, Irving (February 2, 2009). "Staten Island Chuck predicts spring is near". Staten Island Advance. Staten Island, NY.
  19. ^ Associated Press (2008-02-02). "NYC area's furry forecasters weighing in on winter". Newsday. Archived from the original on February 6, 2008.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)

External links[edit]