Animal-World > Small Animal Pets > Pet Squirrels > Eastern Gray Squirrel

Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel ~ Cat Squirrel

Family: Sciuridae Picture of "Rocky", a Gray Squirrel"Rocky"Sciurus carolinensisPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Jerry Donaldson
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Well acorn season is in full swing and I've been gathering them like crazy. The love of my life Chippers who will be 15 years old in April next year just loves... (more)  Terrie Nutter

   The Gray Squirrel is perhaps the most familiar of all squirrels!

   Gray Squirrels are primarily forest dwellers, but have adapted to the encroachment of humans by becoming part of large city parks. You can often see them scurrying about, foraging for seeds, buds, and nuts.

Dr. Jungle says..."Rocky sure likes his pizza!"

"This is Rocky. He's a 1 year old Western Grey Squirrel, rescued as a baby from a cat, he was bottle fed and given full run of the house. The best pet by far!"... Jerry Donaldson

For more information about the care of Gray Squirrel see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Squirrel

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Geographic Distribution
Sciurus carolinensis
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Data provided by GBIF.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Sciuridae
  • Genus: Sciurus
  • Species: carolinensis
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Scientific name: Sciurus carolinensis

Background:
   Gray Squirrels are native to North America, found mostly in the Eastern United States. They were also introduced to other areas of the world, such as Ireland, South Africa, and Great Britain.
   Their homes are in tree cavities or in bulky water-proof twig and leaf nests built in tree branches. They also dig burrows in the ground, but these are for food storage.
   They are generally a quiet little creature, but if alarmed will emit a harsh guttural "bark", flipping its tail with each squawk.
   Gray Squirrels eat acorns and hickory nuts throughout the year, though they may eat buds, tender twigs, seeds, and insects when the weather permits. Unlike their very active smaller cousin the American Red Squirrel, which needs large amounts of seeds and nuts to see it through the winter, the Gray Squirrel can subsist on a rather small quantity of buds and nuts, and will often sleep soundly through periods of stormy weather.
   They are not quite as fearless as the American Red Squirrel in the presence of humans, but will soon overcome their caution and come out to visit if you sit quietly.

Description:    Eastern Gray Squirrels are 17"-20" long, and 8 1/2" - 9 1/2" of this length is their bushy tail! There are marked color variations in this squirrel, so at one time they were described as four different species, but today they are all contained in one valid species.

Interesting Facts:    - Gray squirrels are so plentiful that they often have to regulate their
      populations by shooting them for sport, or poisoning and trapping them.
   - They are not nocturnal, and are most active at dawn and at dusk gathering
      food. They will generally spend the late morning and noon hours in the nest,
      coming out in mid afternoon, and then retiring for the rest of the night an
      hour or so before sunset.

Author: Jasmine Brough
Lastest Animal Stories on Eastern Gray Squirrel


Terrie Nutter - 2014-11-20
Well acorn season is in full swing and I've been gathering them like crazy. The love of my life Chippers who will be 15 years old in April next year just loves acorns or more accurately the grubs inside the acorns. All I do at this time of year is collect acorns for her. The green ones I freeze for her, and the brown ones I set out in an underbed box and wait until the grubs hatch out which they which they do by the hundreds when you stir up the acorns. Chippers dives into her dish and I don't think she pauses long enough in her munching to breathe. After a grub comes out of the acorn i keep the acorn because they often have three or four grubs in each acorn. After several weeks when no more grubs appear the acorns are thrown out because after a grub eats it from the inside out they're no good anymore

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ike - 2013-05-14
i found a week old baby squirrel and hand fed him for about 8 weeks he was eating nuts and doing great i left the other day to help someone out to come home to find him dead his name was rocky and he was the best pet id ever had i always want him to be remembered love you rocky and we miss you sweetheart our house just is not a home anymore with out you love dad

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-14
    I am so sorry. What a wonderful experience raising him, but such a loss. My deepest condolences.
Reply
Terrie Lyn Nutter - 2014-05-27
I have a Gray Squirrel called Ms Chips, or Chippers. I got her from a local vet when she was about a year old, Whoever had found her as a baby did not do any research as to how to properly feed an infant squirrel, therefore without supplemental calcium on a daily basis she would be deathly sick from metabolic bone disease, She is not releasable. She is the most dearest and lovable of creatures. I feed her a very varied diet, including Hibiscus flowers, various greens, fruit, lettuce, shredded wheat, fruit and nut wild bird food. I spend my early autumn days collecting pine cones and acorns for her, and when the mixed nuts come out in the grocery stores, I buy about ten pounds of them for her. I freeze the majority and give her two to three a day and they usually last her the season until the come out again, In the spring when the neighbors trim their oak trees I collect several logs for her to chew on because she likes the green inner bark, she also likes Mahogany tree seed pods and whole coconuts which she destroys with great pleasure. For her metabolic bone disease she gets a fruit tums every other day and has a vast array of bones and deer antler to chew on for her calcium, she is quite artistic and has left remnants of bone with very pleasing designs. She sleeps in a wooden nest box which she has remodeled to her likes, she also has a cloth pouch hanging on the side of her cage which she also sleeps in. She has a great deal of toys to amuse her including hanging bird toys and stuffed animals which she likes to wrestle with and sleep on. She is housed in a Critter Nation with a deep pan on the bottom filled with aspen shavings. She has perches and branches to climb on including rope swings and ladders. She comes out to play daily and loves to play with my dog. I would never keep a baby squirrel if I found one outside, I would take it to a rehabilitation center to be raised and released back into the wild where they belong, but Chippers needs human intervention in order to survive. When the vet gave me Chips I already had another injured squirrel, and I told him I would give her a good loving home for as long as she lived and I must be doing something right because Ms. Chips turned fourteen years old in April 2014, and shows no indication of slowing down, and I love her dearly.

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Velcro - 2013-04-29
Hi, I've been raising Velcro since he was 4 1/2 weeks old. Eyes were not even open yet. He is so sweet. He loves me and my son, and has changed toward others. He doesn't like anyone else around like he used to, but my son and I, he loves. He's never bitten anyone tho. He just makes the noises at others letting them know to leave him alone. Ha! He was 4 1/2 months old during the winter and knew I couldn't release him then. He is now 10 months old, and has actually been outside to play all day 4 times now. And comes back to me. I then put him back in his cage. He seems to be wanting out more, but really worried about how to go about it. He don't know how to build his own nest, etc. Anyone have any suggestions on what to do if I'd let him stay out now. I actually built him a nest house, and was thinking of nailing it up in the tree, but just hoping he uses it when it's there. Just don't want to do wrong with him. Just seems so happy when he's out running tho, and he seems sad now when caged. Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • Cindy - 2014-01-08
    Hi. The 2 squirrels we raised took to the nest box immediately on release. My husband fed them almost every day by climbing the ladder to their box. However as of day b4 yesterday they were gone. There 1 night and gone the next. Do you know if they might return? They r now about 5 months old. They had stayed in the nest box for over a month. I am so sad.
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