Punxsutawney Phil’s pups given weather-inspired names

Americans have celebrated Groundhog Day for more than 130 years. Folklore has it that if the giant rodent sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter, but if he doesn’t, an early spring is on the way. Phil’s accuracy is reported to only be around 40% but accurately predicted the early arrival of spring in 2024.

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – The newborn groundhogs belonging to Punxsutawney Phil and mother Phyllis now have new names after weeks of submissions by visitors at their habitat in western Pennsylvania.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club announced the babies’ names on Mother’s Day, with the girl being known as Sunny and the boy earning the name Shadow.

The family of four lives in an enclosure at the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, about 60 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

The pups were originally discovered by a caretaker in March and were a surprise to all.


According to the club, it has never been in the situation of having to name newborns and has certainly welcomed all of the off-season publicity.

"Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye. Now, on this 12th of May in the town of Punxy Phil. The news is not about the weather - spring air or winter’s chill. No, today, the first family of groundhogs has grown. Punxsutawney Phil and wife Phyllis have two kids of their own. Born to royalty, a boy and a girl, names have been chosen to share with the world. Welcome with us as we say hello to the little girl, Sunny, and the boy, Shadow. With pride and joy, as the kids play, from Punxsutawney, Happy Mother’s Day," Dan McGinley, vice president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, said during a video statement.


The public can see all four groundhogs year-round at their air-conditioned enclosure in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club has not said if the full family will attend the Groundhog Day celebration on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2025, at Gobbler’s Knob.

Folklore has it if Phil emerges from his temporary burrow during the annual event and sees his shadow, there are six more weeks of winter weather, while if he doesn’t see his shadow, an early spring is on the way.

Since the 1880s, the groundhog has predicted an extended winter 107 times and an early spring on only 20 occasions.

In 2024, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, so an early spring was expected.

The prediction could not have been more accurate, with NOAA reporting February was the third-warmest on record, and March ranked as the seventeenth warmest.

The latest forecast will surely help improve the rodent’s long-term accuracy, which is believed to be less than 40%.