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Squirrel (Eastern Gray)

Sciurus carolinensis
Squirrel (Eastern Gray)

Range

The Eastern gray squirrel is found in eastern Canada and U.S. and down through the Midwest into Iowa, Kansas and Texas. It has been introduced to habitats on the west coast too.

Habitat

Eastern gray squirrels are found in hardwood and mixed forests as long as there are trees that produce nuts. They especially seem to like oak and hickory nuts.

Body Traits

They are gray with lighter fur on their bellies. They have a flurry tail with silver tipped hairs. There is also a black phase of this squirrel in the northern part of its range. They are about 9 inches tall and weigh about 2.5 pounds.

Habits

Eastern gray squirrels are active in the daytime (diurnal), especially in the morning and evening. They are active all year. Gray Squirrels den in trees cavities in the winter and leaf nests in the summer.

Diet

They eat nuts: hickory, beech, acorns, and walnuts. They bury nuts they collect, so act as tree planters.

Predators

Predators include coyotes, foxes, bobcats, hawks, owls, weasels, raccoons, and snakes.

Reproduction

Females are pregnant for 6 weeks (gestation) and have 2-3 young born in the spring. They may have a second litter late in the summer.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

They can live between 4-7 years in the wild. They are listed as Lower Risk - least concern.

Squirrel (Eastern Gray)
Squirrel (Eastern Gray)

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Sciuromorpha
Family: Sciuridae
Subfamily: Sciurinae
Genus: Sciurus
Species: Sciurus carolinensis

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