Eastern Gray Squirrel

"Eastern Gray Squirrel at Enchanted Forest Park"




The eastern gray squirrel, or grey squirrel (depending on region), (Sciurus carolinensis), is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus native to the eastern and midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada. The native range of the eastern gray squirrel overlaps with that of the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), with which it is sometimes confused, although the core of the fox squirrel’s range is slightly more to the west.

A prolific and adaptable species, the eastern gray squirrel has been introduced to, and thrives, in several regions of the western United States.

As the name suggests, the eastern gray squirrel has predominantly gray fur but it can have a reddish color. It has a white underside and a large bushy tail. Particularly in urban situations where the risk of predation is reduced, both white- and black-colored individuals are quite often found.

Like many members of the family Sciuridae, the eastern gray squirrel is a scatter-hoarder; it hoards food in numerous small caches for later recovery. Some caches are quite temporary, especially those made near the site of a sudden abundance of food which can be retrieved within hours or days for re-burial in a more secure site. Others are more permanent and are not retrieved until months later. It has been estimated that each squirrel makes several thousand caches each season. The squirrels have very accurate spatial memory for the locations of these caches, and use distant and nearby landmarks to retrieve them. Smell is used once the squirrel is within a few centimeters of the cache. It is one of very few mammalian species that can descend a tree head-first. It does this by turning its feet so that the claws of its hindpaws are backward pointing and can grip the tree bark.

 Eastern gray squirrels build a type of nest, known as a drey, in the forks of trees. The drey consists mainly of dry leaves and twigs; Spanish moss is also useful where it’s available. It may also build a nest in the attic or in the exterior walls of a house, often to the consternation of the homeowner. In addition, the squirrel may inhabit a permanent tree den.

Eastern gray squirrels are more active during the early and late hours of the day, and tend to avoid the heat in the middle of a summer day. They do not hibernate.


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    26 Thoughts to “Eastern Gray Squirrel”

    1. Lauren.Delambre

      I’m very impressed with your photos.

    2. Gary33


    3. TimothyR

      Really excellent photography

    4. Howard Glatter

      stinken little "puff rat" They tear up my lawn cushions and plant nuts in my gutters, But they are cute, and I hear they taste like chicken

    5. Alan Hochman

      Tried them, def NOT!

    6. Rose Ali

      You're not supposed to eat them little creatures!

    7. Alan S. Hochman

      You’re not??? My bad! lol

    8. Howard Glatter

      yeah, just keep electrocuting chickens. yum

    9. Alan Hochman

      So that's how they get the name FRYERS! lol

    10. Rose Ali

      Poor Chickens…eat Tofu it's good for ya 🙂

    11. Alan Hochman

      Does tofu taste like chicken? lol Bean curd…Not a chance! I'm meat n taters

    12. Rose Ali

      I really dunno, I hate Tofu, Yuck!

    13. Howard Glatter

      Tofu's great. Fried in bacon grease and scalions, it's a delight

    14. Rose Ali

      oh that sounds very healthy….ha ha YUM!

    15. Alan Hochman

      You are both very WEIRD!!!!

    16. Jeff Greenblatt

      haven't had squirrel since Metropolis Illinois in 1960. tasted gamy. My mom freaked when they told her what it was.

    17. Alan S. Hochman

      Jeff, I hear ya! Personally, I’ld rather have a cheeseburger

    18. Rose Ali

      I'm not weird…just a lil different…

    19. Alan S. Hochman

      Alrighty then! lol And that’s a good thing! lol

    20. Rose Ali

      I hope so! Hey where is Jeff's next comment? ha

    21. Janice

      Super cool pix.

    22. Kenny7

      I take it you live in Florida! :).

    23. Jason

      I like the way he is staring at you! lol

    24. Sammy34

      he/she posed for its picture

    25. Jean476

      Squirrels are so cool to watch.

    26. Shannon Reiss

      These are my favorite animals. Love them!

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    Alan S Hochman Photography