Eastern Gray Squirrel
The Eastern gray squirrel is found mainly in mature hardwoods & deciduous forest areas but is also abundant in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The coats of the gray squirrel are generally a gray color but can vary from black to white.
Qualities of The Eastern Gray Squirrel
- 18-21 inches tall
- Gray in color but can be found in black & white color differences.
- Bushy banded brown and black haired tail with a white tip
- Forages acorn, hickory & walnuts, corn, berries, plants, and fruits
- Will come to a feeder
Color Differences in Gray Squirrels
The gray squirrels carry the genes producing the black & white squirrels you often see.
When the proper combination of genes is produced in the mating grays, the black phase may appear after several generations of grays.
There may be both black and gray in the same litter.
Breeding and Mating of The Eastern Gray Squirrel
The gray squirrel will mate twice a year. Mating occurs once in late winter during the months of January and February. A second breeding occurs in late Spring or Early Summer during the months of May through July.
Gestation & Litter Sizes
The Eastern gray squirrel has a gestation period of about 45 days, give or take, and will produce a litter of 2-5 kits or kittens.
The average number of kits born to a litter is 3.
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Squirrels Can Be A Nuisance
Squirrels of all types can be a nuisance in your yard. The critters can scare aways birds at your feeder and make a mess under the feeders.
They can enter homes, garages, dig up flower bulbs and even cause power outages by getting wrapped up in lines and electrical transformers.
Keeping the Squirrels At Bay
There is a love-hate relationship with squirrels at the feeder.
Some people don’t mind feeding the critters. Others, just wish they didn’t visit the feeders in their yards and a large population do not want them in their yards at all.
If you are having an issue with squirrels in your yard or feeders this section is for you!
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1.) Change To Safflower Seed
If you wish to keep squirrels from eating the seed, change your seed. Keep squirrels out of your feeders by feeding your birds safflower seed.
Feeding safflower seed will help keep the squirrels out of your feeder and discourage many additional pesty larger birds from visiting as well.
List of birds that eat safflower seed.
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2.) Baffles Prevent Squirrels From Climbing Poles
Baffles are cone shaped barrier structures that are placed on the pole between the feeder and the ground. The baffle will not allow the squirrel to climb up the pole to get to the feeder.
I suggest placing the feeder in an open space in your yard away from trees and bushes. You don’t want the squirrels jumping from tree as an alternative to climbing the pole.
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3.) Trim Tree Branches and Bushes
To keep squirrels from being able to jump from the trees to poles and feeders you can prune them back.
Cut the limbs that are branch to branch jumping distance above the feeders and poles opening up and clear the space.
Want To Attract Squirrels?
If you are a fan of feeding squirrels they eat a variety of seeds and nuts at platform feeders.
- Black sunflower seeds
- Assortment of berries
- Assortment of nuts
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Save Money By Collecting Nuts
When out on nature walks or even in your own backyard, collect a variety of nuts. Squirrels love a variety of nuts and so you many birds. If you have a wealth of nuts available, collect them, and save them to place in your feeders during the winter months.
- Black walnuts
- Hickory nuts
Have a Farmer Close?
If you have a farmer that raises the field of corn to feed their cattle, strike up a deal. When the farmer cuts down the corn they will normally leave some stalks of corn in the field standing.
The Eastern gray squirrel can be a friend of a foe to your yard, reading about them will give you a better understanding of them.
Knowing what they eat, how to keep them in line and even their mating habits is a good start.
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