Gray Squirrel

1) Where can they be found? :

They are found in the genus Sciurus, native to the eastern and Midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada

It’s Meaning:

The genus Sciurus is derived from two Greek words, skia, meaning shadow, and oura meaning tail. This name says that “squirrel sitting in the shadow of its tail”. The specific epithet, carolinensis, refers to the Carolinas, where the species was first recorded and where the animal is still extremely common. In the United Kingdom and Canada, it is simply referred to as the “Gray squirrel” or “Eastern Gray Squirrel”.
(2) Description :

They are grey in colour but they can be brown sometimes with white underside and a large bushy tail. Since in this urban environment predation is reduced, they can be found quite often.

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(3) Gray Squirrel Behavior :

They are scatter-hoarder; it hoards food in small caches for later use. Some caches are temporary while some are permanent which they cannot be retrieved till months. They make several caches each season and are great at remembering those. Squirrels are known to bury an object if they feel they are being watched. They do it by preparing the spot as it was before, for example digging a hole or widening a crack, miming the placement of the food, while the food is actually in their mouth, and then they cover up the cache as if they have hidden the object.

Their nest known as “Drey”, is in the forks of trees, consisting mainly of dry leaves and twigs. Male and Female may share the nest during breeding season and during winter they share a drey to stay warm.

They may also nest in the attic of exterior walls of a house. Eastern gray squirrels are more active during the early and late hours of the day, and tend to avoid the heat in the middle of a summer day. They do not hibernate.

(4) Reproduction

When do they Breed: Twice a year, December to February and May to June (this is slighly delayes in northen latitudes).
When do they get birth: The first litter is born in February to March, the second in June to July.
How many youngs/Baby are born: 2 to 6 and up to 8 baby squirrels sometimes get birth.
Gestation Period:44 days
Mother Care: The baby squirrels are taken care of by Female Squirrels for Seven weeks and they they leave the nest after 10 weeks.
Age when they can breed: Baby Squirrels can start breeding as early as five and a half months old. But usually they breed after 1 year.
Age: 20 years in Zoos and 12.5 years in Wild.

(5) Gray Squirrel Sounds, Communication

Way of Communication: Both vocal and posture, Squeak like mouse, a low-pitched noise, a chatter and a raspy “mehr mehr”, tail-flicking. Communication is mainly used in mating season and to ward off the predators.

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