northern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis pennsylvanicus)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
CHARACTERISTICS: This is a large squirrel weighing 16-18 ounces and
having a total length of 12-21 inches. It has a bushy tail, moderate ears
without tufts and a grayish to yellowish brown coat on the upper parts
(though no hair is all gray, some tipped with white), white under and on the
chin, abdomen, and ventral legs. The fur is longer in the winter. They are
distinguished from red squirrel by their larger size, gray color, white-bor-
dered tail, and from the fox squirrel by their smaller size and white-edged
tail. The females have 1 or 2 litters per year, averaging 2-3 young per litter.
The daily movement is mostly within about 200 yards. There is no hiberna-
tion but cold, rain, snowstorm and especially high winds cause this species
to remain in the den for several days. They have many calls to communicate.
The potential longevity in the wild is 6 years.
DISTRIBUTION: This subspecies of gray squirrel is common throughout
a majority of the north and the west of the state. They are found in exten-
sive forests, but also city parks, and backyards. Large, relatively unbroken
forest tracts are used.
FOODS: This species is primarily herbivorous but does eat insects, eggs
and young birds. On normal days under wild conditions, there are 2 main
feeding periods: early morning and late afternoon. They move when
the nut supply is exhausted. Each one may bury 1000 nuts per year.
Crooked Run Valley