Eastern Gray Squirrel
(Sciurus carolinensis)


Identifying characteristics: A medium-sized tree squirrel with gray fur above and cream fur covering the under parts. The head, feet and tail may have a reddish tinge. The tail is large and bushy, roughly half of the total length of the squirrel. In urban areas (due to isolated populations and reduced predation) completely black variations may be spotted. They are differentiated from the Fox Squirrel by their smaller size and dominance of grey hair.

Size: From 15 to 21 inches in length and weigh about 19 oz.

Habitat: Large, mature, deciduous forests with plenty of ground cover and nut-producing trees. Often found in urban parks and backyards. Dens will be in either holes in trees or nests made of leaves in the fork of a tree. They usually maintain multiple nests at once. They will also invade attics and garages.

Food: Omnivorous. Primarily nuts and seeds, but also a variety of vegetation (including flowers, buds, bulbs, fruit, pinecone seeds), crops (such as corn and wheat) and also insects and carrion. They store massive quantities of food scattered underground or in tree cavities for the winter.

Vocalization: Barks, chatters, chirps, distress screams.

Predators: Birds of prey, humans, weaselssnakesraccoonslynxfoxes,coyotes, domestic cats.

Reproduction: Litter size average 3 with 2 litters a year. Mating season is from Dec-Feb and then again from May-June. Young stay with their mother for 3 months.

Active mostly during the morning and late afternoon (diurnal) avoiding the hot portions of the day. They are generally solitary and they do not hibernate, but may nest in small groups to maintain body temperature. Squirrel chases are frequent in mating season as one male usually tries to block other males from reaching his chosen mate.

American Red Squirrel
(Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)


AKA: Pine squirrel, Chickaree

Identifying characteristics: The smallest tree squirrel in our area with brownish-red to grayish-red fur above and white or grayish-white bellow. Dark lines may separate the reddish fur from the white fur of the belly. The tail is large and bushy, but not as bushy compared to other tree squirrels. Their large black eyes have white outlines.

Size: From 11 to 14 inches in length and weighing about 7 oz.

Habitat: Coniferous, deciduous and mixed forests. Nests are often built of grass or shredded bark within the branches of conifers, but will also be in tree cavities, built on a tree fork, or in garages and attics.

Food: Omnivorous. Primarily conifer seeds, nuts (such as acorn, beechnuts), fruit , but also a variety of vegetation (barks, buds, flowers), sap, insects, reptiles, bird eggs, mice. They store massive quantities of food scattered underground or in tree cavities for the winter.

Vocalization: Very vocal squirrels. Barks, chatters, chirps, distress screams.

Predators: Humans, birds of prey, lynx, weasels, snakes, foxes.

Reproduction: Litter size average 4 with up to 2 litters a year (if the weather is particularly warm). Mating season is usually during the spring thaw. Young stay with their mother for 40 days.

Active mostly during the morning and late afternoon (diurnal). They are generally solitary and they do not hibernate, but may nest in small groups to maintain body temperature. Squirrel chases are frequent in mating season as one male usually tries to block other males from reaching his chosen mate. A sure sign of a red squirrel is a conifer stripped of pine cones with pine cone debris scattered about.