Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Animal Eastern Gray Squirrel
Common Name(s) Eastern Gray Squirrel, Grey Squirrel
Scientific Name sciurus carolinensis
Adults are called Males: Bucks; Females: Does
Young are called Kits, pups, or kittens
Lifespan 20 yrs in captivity; 5 – 12 yrs in the wild
Adult Size 23 – 30 cm long (9 – 12 in.)
Adult Weight 400 – 600 g (14 – 21 oz.)
Birth Size
Birth Weight 13 – 18 g
Gestation Period Approx. 44 days
Number of Young Commonly 1 – 4 ( max. 8)
Where Found Native to Eastern and Midwestern U.S. and southeastern Canada, with an introduced range in south Africa.
Habitat Large, mature, dense hardwood / coniferous forests
Diet Tree bark, flower buds, berries, seeds and nuts, some fungi, tomatoes, corn, strawberries, and other small crops. They also will eat small insects and eggs if food becomes scarce. To get certain minerals, they will even gnaw on bones.
Conservation Status Least Concern
Threats Predation and deforestation
Eastern gray squirrels are fairly small, common rodents, seen both in urban and rural areas. They are mostly gray in color, but sometimes have a reddish tint to their sides. This is especially common in younger squirrels. Their belly is white, although sometimes discolored to a more cream or yellow color. Occasionally, there are white and black varieties, mostly found in urban areas.

Interesting Facts

  • Often have 2 litters per year.
  • Their greatest tool is their tail, which they use for balance, shade, a blanket, an umbrella, and a rudder while swimming.
  • Sometimes use old woodpecker holes as their nest.
  • Most active at dawn and dusk – they are crepuscular.

Additional Resources

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_gray_squirrel
  • http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/eastern_gray_squirrel.htm
  • http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Sciurus_carolinensis/
  • http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/animals/Animalbabies.shtml
  • https://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2012/toellner_kayl/reproduction.htm
  • http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/facts/eastern_gray_squirrel_712.html