Grey Squirrel

The grey squirrel (sciurus carolinensis) is one of Minnesota’s most common wildlife species. It is often seen in backyards, parks, and wooded rural areas. Because of its thick furry tail, it is sometimes called bushy tail.

Identification

General Description
White or brownish bellies and in the winter have white ear tufts. Black and albino squirrels are variations of the grey squirrel
Length
8 to 10 inches with a tail roughly the same length
Weight
1.5 pounds

Color
Mostly grey with white to rusty-colored underside and rust-colored ears
Sounds
Squirrels make a variety of sounds including harsh chirping or chattering nosey when they are angry or scared


Reproduction

Grey squirrels mate twice a year typically between December and February and /or June thru August. They nest in tree hollows or in a tree-top den which is a 12 to 19 inch ball shaped nest made of leaves, twigs, and bark. Female squirrels have 2 to 4 babies which are born hairless and weigh 0.5 ounce. Young squirrels are completely independent by 12 weeks.

Food

Grey squirrels eat acorns, hazelnuts, walnuts, and seeds of many trees, plus fungi, and elm buds in late winter. 

Habitat

Grey squirrels live in hardwood forests, wooded parks, and residential areas. They make their homes in tree cavities but also build leafy nests in summer and fall. 

Fun Facts

A grey squirrel can hide 25 nuts in a half hour and can later find roughly 80 percent of the those it buried.