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Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

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

Eastern Gray squirrel at bird feeder eating nuts
  • 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

Black phase of squirrel may appear after several generations of grays.
Black phase of squirrel may appear after several generations of grays.

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

Baby squirrel.  There are 2-5 kits or kittens born to a little of Eastern Gray Squirrels.
There are 2-5 kits or kittens born to a little of Eastern Gray Squirrels.

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.


Sharing Is Caring – Pin Me

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.

Squirrels Can Be A Nuisance

Squirrel dumped the feeder above the chair

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

Squirrel checking out the new suet balls trying to decide if he would like to try them out.  

I often smell my food before trying it too, Mr squirrel.

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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Additional Posts:
What Are Safflower Seeds & Birds That Eat It
Grow Your Own Safflower Seed


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
  • Corn
  • 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.

Collect nuts in fall and store in mesh orange and onion bags to put in feeder year round for squirrels and birds.
Collect nuts in fall and store in mesh orange and onion bags to put in feeder year-round for squirrels and birds.
  • Black walnuts
  • Hickory nuts
  • Butternuts
  • Acorns

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.

Closing

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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