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Eastern Gray Squirrel

        Animals | Other Mammals

Eastern Gray Squirrel
Eastern Gray Squirrel

The eastern gray squirrel's natural habitat is the hardwood oak, hickory, and walnut forests of eastern North America, where its numbers are controlled by resource availability and predators such as bobcats, owls, and foxes.

It was introduced in Britain, where it has become an agricultural pest and out-competed the European red squirrel.

The species is a daytime forager, enjoying diverse foods such as pine-cone seeds, nuts, berries, insects, birds' eggs, and occasionally sap from under the bark of new trees.

An adult may eat up to three ounces (80 g) of shelled nuts in a day.

It stores nuts by burying them in the ground throughout its range, and thus the species is important in the distribution and propagation of trees.

It usually makes its nest of leaves in a cavity or crotch of a tree.

Animal Facts

Name: Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

Family: Sciuridae (Squirrels)

Range: Eastern North America; introduced in Britain

Habitat: Forest and woodland; also cultivated areas and parks

Diet: Nuts, seeds, flowers, fruits, fungi, and buds

Head and Body Length: 9 to 12 inches (23 to 30 cm)

Tail Length: 8 to 9 inches (21 to 23 cm)

Weight: 14 to 25 ounces (400 to 700 g)

Life Cycle: Mating December to August; gestation about 40 days, two to five young born

Description: Grizzled dark to pale gray fur; white or pale underparts; large eyes; no ear tufts; long, bushy tail

Conservation Status: Common