SI_GraySquirrel.gif

Squirrels: Sciurus carolinensis

Appearance:

The eastern gray squirrel is a bushy-tailed member of the rodent family. They have grayish-brown fur with paler fur on their undersides. The tail often has silvery-tipped hairs at the end. Eastern gray squirrels can grow 17 to 20 inches long. Florida is home to two other species of squirrels, the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) and the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans). 

Habitat:

Eastern gray squirrels occur in woodland and urban areas, especially near oaks and hickories, and are active during the day, often feeding on the ground. They spend much of their lives in trees.

Behavior:

The eastern gray squirrel hoards food in numerous places for later recovery.  They have the ability to recall the location of thousands of food caches. Preferred foods include bark, berries, seeds and acorns.

Breeding can occur up to twice a year.  Nests are made in the forks of trees, but they will nest in attics when accessible, becoming a nuisance to many homeowners.  Litter size averages one to four young. 

Additional Information:


Image Credit:



FWC Facts:
Saxitoxin, the compound that produces paralytic shellfish poisoning, was used in suicide pills for U.S. U-2 spy plane pilots in the Cold War in case of crash and potential capture.

Learn More at AskFWC