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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The ten Kinds of Squirrels Present in the US! (2023)

What kinds of squirrels can you discover in the US?

I’ve discovered squirrels trigger a variety of feelings. Some people discover them cute and love watching their loopy antics!


However many individuals can’t stand having squirrels round, significantly on their chicken feeders! These feeding lovers are always battling these acrobatic rodents to maintain them on the bottom and away from their chicken meals.


No matter your private emotions, I believe squirrels are fascinating to find out about. If you’re interested by all of the species that may be discovered close to you, please hold studying. 🙂


Under are the ten kinds of squirrels that stay in the US!


#1. Jap Grey Squirrel

common squirrels in the united states

Scientific Title: Sciurus carolinensis

Common Size (Together with tail): 16.6 – 21.6 inches / 42 – 55 cm

Weight: 14 – 21 oz / 400 – 600 grams

Lifespan: Adults usually stay to be about 6 years previous. Some fortunate people can stay as much as 12 years within the wild, assuming they don’t seem to be eaten by a hawk, owl, bobcat, fox, weasel, feral cat, snake, or human.


The Jap Grey Squirrel is frequent in the US, and one of many squirrels that individuals do battle with essentially the most at their yard chicken feeders!


Jap Grey Squirrel Vary Map

gray squirrel range map


These rodents eat quite a lot of meals, however naturally, their favorites are positively nuts, similar to acorns, walnuts, and hazelnuts. As winter approaches, Jap Grey Squirrels begin hiding meals in lots of areas, which supplies them diet via the colder months. They disguise extra meals than they are going to ever discover once more, and a few of these further seeds will finally develop into new bushes. Who knew that squirrels may play such an necessary position in seed dispersal?


Many individuals have thrown up their palms in defeat as they attempt to cease these acrobatic mammals from taking up the chicken feeders of their yard. Jap Grey Squirrels LOVE birdseed and are relentless after they know a simple meal awaits inside a feeder. Their favourite meals embrace sunflower seeds, peanuts, and corn.

types of squirrels in the united states

Within the wild, these squirrels are present in massive, dense deciduous forests filled with mature bushes (oaks, hickories) that produce a number of nuts! However these adaptable critters are equally snug dwelling in suburban and concrete neighborhoods, parks, and farms!


Whereas this squirrel is native to the japanese United States, they’re truly an invasive species in different elements of the nation and world. Jap Grey Squirrels are particularly problematic in lots of elements of Europe as a result of they outcompete and displace their native squirrels, such because the extremely cute Eurasian Purple Squirrel.


Some grey squirrels are black!


Sure, I notice that it’s a bit unusual that some Jap Grey Squirrels have black fur, but it surely’s true! These black squirrels seem as a morph, and genetically talking, it’s believed to consequence from a defective pigment gene. Nobody is absolutely certain why the black morph advanced, however a number of theories have been provided. Some scientists assume it might be a selective benefit for squirrels that inhabit the northern ranges to assist them soak up warmth for the reason that shade of black conducts warmth greatest.


Whatever the motive, seeing a black squirrel is extremely superior! I’m fortunate sufficient to see them virtually every day in my yard, hanging out with their grey counterparts.


#2. American Purple Squirrel

american red squirrel - species of squirrels in the united states


Scientific Title: Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

Common Size (Together with tail): 11- 14 inches / 28 – 35.5 cm

Weight: 7.1–8.8 oz / 200–250 g

Lifespan: They expertise extreme mortality throughout their first yr, as solely about 20% of infants survive. For people that survive the primary yr, the common lifespan remains to be solely 2.3 years, with a most lifespan of 8 years. Predators embrace bobcats, coyotes, hawks, owls, foxes, American Martens, and Canadian Lynxes.


The American Purple Squirrel is widespread throughout the US and simple to establish when in comparison with different squirrel species. Because the identify suggests, they’ve a reddish shade and white stomach that makes them simple to tell apart. Dimension-wise, they’re each MUCH smaller than each grey and fox squirrels however bigger than chipmunks.


American Purple Squirrel Vary Map

american red squirrel range map


These squirrels are primarily present in coniferous forests as a result of their eating regimen, which consists of seeds from evergreen bushes. However they’re equally at residence in deciduous forests, backyards, parks, and concrete areas, the place they regulate their eating regimen to eat meals similar to berries, chicken eggs, acorns, hazelnuts, mushrooms, mice, and sunflower seeds from yard chicken feeding stations. American Purple Squirrels also have a candy tooth and are recognized to faucet maple bushes to allow them to eat the sugar from the sap!


These squirrels are BEST recognized for his or her aggressive character!


Press PLAY to listen to the sounds of an American Purple Squirrel!


After I go climbing, I virtually at all times see at the least one American Purple Squirrel, as they don’t seem to be shy creatures. As quickly as I’m noticed, the squirrel usually runs up a tree to sit down after which begins making loud chattering noises to alert the entire forest to my presence!


And regardless of their small dimension, these squirrels run the present in the event that they present as much as your chicken feeders. I’ve personally witnessed these feisty rodents thrust back greater than FIVE Jap Grey Squirrels away from my feeding station in order that they will have the place to themselves. (Watch the video under to see for your self!)


Feeding birds is a problem with these squirrels round!


From a chicken feeding perspective, American Purple Squirrels current distinctive challenges if you wish to stop them from consuming your birdseed. Right here’s why:

red squirrels

  • These squirrels are sufficiently small to suit via most caged chicken feeders. These feeders are designed to stop bigger squirrels (Jap Grey, Fox) from becoming via whereas nonetheless permitting small songbirds to eat.


  • Many chicken feeders have been designed to be weight-sensitive and shut if sufficient weight, like that from a squirrel, sits on the perch. As a result of American Purple Squirrels are so small and light-weight, they don’t pressure the perch to shut on many feeders, which permits them to eat as a lot as they need.


Harm brought on by an American Purple Squirrel!


  • These feisty squirrels will do virtually ANYTHING to get entry to the place you retailer your chicken meals. For instance, I hold my seed saved in a shed, both in metallic bins or plastic 5-gallon buckets with lids. As you’ll be able to see from the injury above, American Purple Squirrels are the one animals at my home that chew via arduous plastic to get to the seed. Fortunately, they haven’t discovered tips on how to chew via metallic… but. 🙂


#3. Fox Squirrel

fox squirrel


Scientific Title: Sciurus niger

Common Size (Together with tail): 17.7 – 27.6 inches / 45 – 70 cm

Weight: 1.1 – 2.2 kilos  / 500 – 1000 grams

Lifespan: Captive Fox Squirrels have been recognized to stay as much as 18 years. Within the wild, their most lifespan is 12.6 years for females and eight.6 years for males. Nevertheless, people not often stay that lengthy as a result of overhunting, illness from mange mites, extreme winter climate, or predation from foxes, coyotes, and birds of prey.


Fox Squirrels are the most important tree squirrel in the US.


Fox Squirrel Vary Map

fox squirrel range map


These squirrels, that are native to a lot of the japanese United States, can adapt to many alternative habitats. They’re most frequently present in small patches of deciduous forests that embrace bushes that produce their favourite meals, that are acorns, walnuts, pecans, and hickory nuts. To organize for winter, they disguise caches of those nuts far and wide to be eaten later when the climate turns chilly.


Sadly, Fox Squirrels have been launched to many areas out west the place they don’t seem to be native, together with California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, North Dakota, Washington, New Mexico, British Columbia, and Ontario. Fox Squirrels are placing strain on native squirrel species as a result of their capacity to outcompete them.


Fox Squirrels appear to thrive round folks.

common fox squirrels


Subsequently, they’re generally present in city parks and neighborhoods. For instance, Fox Squirrels have been an everyday sight everywhere in the campus (Baldwin-Wallace College) the place I went to varsity, and adoringly liked by each college students and school!


You’ll probably see Fox Squirrels foraging on the bottom, as they spend a lot of their time there. However don’t let this truth idiot you, since they’re nonetheless expert climbers. Along with scaling bushes, they are going to simply climb a chicken feeder pole to get entry to birdseed. 🙂


Most Fox Squirrels observe the identical coloration, which is a grayish-brown fur coat with orange hair on their stomach and on the sting of their tail. However these squirrels have extremely variable colorations, relying on location. For instance, the Delmarva Fox Squirrel, which is native to a number of states within the east, is grey on prime with a white stomach, whitish toes, and a grey tail with white frosting. Within the southeast, a subspecies referred to as Sherman’s Fox Squirrels are discovered with black heads that distinction with a white nostril and ears, together with fur coats that vary in shade from grey to black.


Fox Squirrels are unbelievable jumpers!

WATCH squirrels leaping about 10 toes to my chicken feeders!


They will leap as much as 15 toes horizontally. In the event you don’t need these squirrels in your chicken feeders, then it’s worthwhile to keep in mind this truth. Place your feeding station away from locations that squirrels can use as a launchpad, similar to bushes, fences, and buildings. On a aspect word, the squirrels within the video above are Jap Grey Squirrels, NOT Fox Squirrels. Regardless, I assumed it demonstrated my level that these athletic rodents can soar REALLY FAR!


#4. Abert’s Squirrel

aberts squirrel


Scientific Title: Sciurus aberti

Common Size (Together with tail): 18 – 23 inches / 46 to 58 cm

Weight: 19 – 34 oz / 540 – 971 g


The ears on an Abert’s Squirrel, that are additionally referred to as Tassel-eared Squirrels, are distinctive, and it’s arduous to mistake in case you see one. Simply search for lengthy tufts of hair on every ear (besides that the tufts disappear in summer season)! As well as, they’ve a darkish grey coat, pure white underbelly, and a noticeable rusty brown patch of fur on their again. They give the impression of being quite a bit just like the cute Eurasian Purple Squirrel, besides for his or her shade.


Abert’s Squirrels are discovered within the Western United States, primarily dwelling in coniferous forests near their favourite tree, the Ponderosa Pine.


Abert’s Squirrel Vary Map

aberts squirrel range map


Ponderosa Pines play an necessary position within the lifetime of Abert’s Squirrels.


In reality, these bushes present all the things from meals to nesting to safety from predators!


Whereas these squirrels eat all kinds of meals, Ponderosa Pines are their favourite and their main diet all through the complete yr. In heat months, the seeds and buds are consumed. Extremely, a single squirrel can eat the seeds from as much as 75 pine cones per day!


Throughout colder months, Abert’s Squirrels eat the internal bark of the particular tree, along with twigs. In winter, on common, about 45 twigs are eaten on daily basis!


The Ponderosa Pine supplies such a constant meals supply all year long, the Abert’s Squirrel not often shops any meals for winter. This conduct is extremely distinctive in the case of squirrels!


Females will construct twig nests, which resemble massive, messy chicken nests, on the branches of Ponderosa Pines. Adults will even use these shelters year-round for nightly safety. These squirrels would use a cavity, however pines not often have holes large enough for nesting functions.



Abert’s Squirrels and Ponderosa Pines go hand in hand. These pine bushes not solely present meals and nesting areas, however their interlocking canopies function safety in opposition to predators. Animals similar to hawks, significantly the Northern Goshawk, hunt these squirrels repeatedly.


Lastly, these cute squirrels have a candy tooth!


In spring, it’s attainable to see them licking the sugary sap off the bark of Boxelder Timber, that are associated to maples.


#5. Western Grey Squirrel

western gray squirrel


Scientific Title: Sciurus griseus

Common Size (Together with tail): 17 – 24 inches / 43 – 61 cm

Weight: 12.3 – 35 oz / 350 – 992 grams

Lifespan: Adults can stay as much as 8 years previous.


The Western Grey Squirrel has a restricted vary and may solely be discovered on the western coast of the US and elements of Mexico. These squirrels love dwelling within the forest and are discovered at elevations as much as 8,200 toes (2,500 m).

  • You might even see this species known as the Silver-gray Squirrel, California Grey Squirrel, Oregon Grey Squirrel, Columbian Grey Squirrel, or the Banner-tail, relying on location.


Western Grey Squirrel Vary Map


Though the Western Grey Squirrel appears much like the Jap Grey Squirrel, their personalities are completely different. For instance, the western species are usually shy and can run up a tree when disturbed. As soon as there, they provide a hoarse chirping sound on the intruder, together with tail flicking and foot-stomping. Due to their shyness, Western Grey Squirrels usually don’t hassle chicken feeders as a lot as different squirrel species!


These squirrels face a number of threats which have affected their inhabitants.


  • Habitat loss as a result of wildfires and urbanization. These creatures are inherently shy and don’t adapt as properly to people as different squirrel species.


  • A illness referred to as Notoedric Mange, brought on by mites, could be a large downside for these squirrels and trigger many deaths.


  • Competitors with different squirrel species is a big risk! Populations of the extra aggressive and non-native Jap Grey Squirrels and Fox Squirrels have been launched through the years, which has been extraordinarily detrimental. The Western Grey Squirrel has needed to retreat farther and farther again into distant mountain habitats the place competitors shouldn’t be so sturdy. Southern California, specifically, has been ravaged by the Fox Squirrel.


#6. Arizona Grey Squirrel

arizona gray squirrel


Scientific Title: Sciurus arizonensis

Common Size (Together with tail): ~20 inches / ~50 cm

Weight: ~23 oz / ~567 grams


The Arizona Grey Squirrel has a small vary and solely lives in elements of Arizona and New Mexico. These squirrels are usually discovered at increased elevations within the mountains. Search for them by rivers in deciduous woods close to bushes that produce their favourite meals, that are acorns, walnuts, and pine cones.


Arizona Grey Squirrel Vary Map

arizona gray squirrel range map


Curiously, the breeding exercise of those squirrels is correlated with the blooming of flowers! These mammals love feasting on flowers, and the diet and nutritional vitamins inside assist maintain the power calls for required for copy.


Not a lot is thought in regards to the standing of the Arizona Grey Squirrel, as they’re shy and arduous to review as a result of they stay within the mountains. Nevertheless it’s thought that their inhabitants has declined, due to a couple causes.


First, these squirrels, like most animals, have skilled habitat loss. Second, it appears they’re being out-competed by the bigger Abert’s Squirrel, because it extends its vary. Arizona Grey Squirrels are usually not at present on the Endangered Species Record, however they might find yourself there finally.


#7. Douglas Squirrel

douglas squirrel


Scientific Title: Tamiasciurus douglasii

Common Size (Together with tail): 13 inches / 33 cm

Weight: 5.25 to 10.5 oz / 150 – 300 grams

Lifespan: Not a lot is thought about how lengthy these squirrels stay, however their important predators embrace feral cats, American Martens, bobcats, hawks, and owls.


The Douglas Squirrel is discovered solely within the Pacific Northwest, alongside the coast from the Sierra Mountains in California to southern British Columbia. The Douglas Squirrel and the extra widespread American Purple Squirrel are related and occupy the identical ecological area of interest. It’s uncommon to seek out these two squirrels in the identical territory, and the place one squirrel vary ends, the opposite usually begins.


Douglas Squirrel Vary Map

douglas squirrel range map


Curiously, this energetic squirrel adjustments its look all year long. Throughout summer season, the backs of Douglas Squirrels are grayish or virtually greenish-brown, whereas its stomach and chest are pale orange. Within the winter, the coat adjustments to turn into extra brown and grey, and the ears seem to have extra of a tufted look than they do in summer season.


Douglas Squirrels are noisy by nature!


If a predator or risk is noticed, they use a big selection of calls to warn everybody within the forest of the approaching hazard.


These pine squirrels primarily stay in coniferous forests as a result of their most well-liked eating regimen of seeds from Douglas Firs, Sitka Spruces, and Shore Pine bushes. However they may even eat acorns, mushrooms, berries, and chicken eggs when accessible.


Hoarders, by nature, the Douglas Squirrel, will usually use one location to retailer as a lot meals as attainable. Because the squirrel peels scales off of pinecones to get to the seeds, the scales begin to accumulate on the bottom. Over time, it’s frequent for large piles, generally over a number of meters vast, to kind as generations of squirrels might use the identical location. In the event you discover one in every of these piles of discarded pine scales, it’s a certain signal {that a} squirrel is close by!


Curiously, generally their storage areas are raided by people. These burglars want to steal inexperienced pine cones, that are then bought to nurseries who need the recent seeds to plant. Fortunately, it appears this exercise has not affected the inhabitants of Douglas Squirrels.

douglas squirrel

Lastly, search for a definite black stripe on the edges of those squirrels in summer season, which fades or goes away utterly in winter.


Flying Squirrels


After I first heard about flying squirrels, I didn’t consider the particular person describing them to me.

common types of flying squirrels


You see, I’m exterior quite a bit and take pleasure in making an attempt to know and establish as a lot native wildlife as attainable. So once I was informed that there are small squirrels that glide from tree to tree at night time and are not often ever seen, I used to be a bit skeptical.


However after some analysis, I used to be amazed to find out about flying squirrels!


In reality, these distinctive mammals are literally extremely frequent in the US. However since these squirrels are small, nocturnal, and stay on the tops of bushes, they’re RARELY seen.


Do flying squirrels truly fly?


Let’s clear up essentially the most generally requested query about flying squirrels. Whereas the identify implies in any other case, these creatures don’t have wings, nor can they fly. What they do have are folds of pores and skin beneath their arms, referred to as a patagium, which extends from their wrists all the way in which to their ankles.


This membrane permits these squirrels to “glide” from tree to tree. So their gliding can provide that impression that they’re flying.


In the US, there are THREE flying squirrel species you’ll be able to observe:


#8. Northern Flying Squirrel

northern flying squirrel


Scientific Title: Glaucomys sabrinus

Common Size (Together with tail): 9.8 – 14.6 inches / 25 – 37 cm

Weight: 3.9 – 8.1 oz  / 110 – 230 grams

Lifespan: Not a lot is thought, however evidently most people stay lower than 4 years. Owls are their important predator, which is sensible since each species are nocturnal.


These squirrels have cinnamon or gentle brown coloured fur, with whitish fur on their stomach. You’ll discover their large black eyes, which assist them see at night time!


Northern Flying Squirrel Vary Map

northern flying squirrel range map


To discover a Northern Flying Squirrel, you will have to look in forests dominated by conifer bushes.


Southern Flying Squirrels, that are carefully associated, choose dwelling in deciduous forests. Due to this truth, these two species not often have ranges that overlap.


Whereas these nocturnal rodents eat nuts and acorns like typical diurnal tree squirrels, it’s not the vast majority of their eating regimen. Curiously, fungi (mushrooms) and lichens are their important supply of diet. Another meals which are eaten embrace bugs, chicken eggs, and tree sap.

In contrast to most different squirrels, Northern Flying Squirrels don’t collect and retailer a lot meals for winter. Since they don’t hibernate and are energetic throughout the entire yr, there’s not as large a necessity as different squirrel species to cache meals. However when temperatures do drop in winter, it’s frequent for a lot of particular person squirrels to come back collectively to assist one another keep heat!


It’s uncommon to seek out these squirrels on the bottom since they’re extremely clumsy walkers. If a predator approaches, they are going to usually attempt to disguise as an alternative of run away. Most of their time is spent on the tops of bushes, gliding from department to department. Their common size of glides is between 16 – 82 toes (5 – 25 meters). I want these squirrels may very well be seen throughout the day as a result of watching them glide these distances could be unbelievable to see!


#9. Southern Flying Squirrel

southern flying squirrel


Scientific Title: Glaucomys volans

Common Size (Together with tail): 8.3 – 10.2 inches / 21 – 26 cm

Weight: 2- 3 oz  / 56 – 85 grams

Lifespan: On common, they stay just some years, and it’s uncommon for a person to see the age of 5. Predators embrace owls, hawks, snakes, bobcats, raccoons, foxes, and home cats.


In the event you ever see one throughout daylight, you’ll get to look at fur that’s reddish-brown or grey, whereas its stomach is cream white. Massive, black eyes take up a lot of their head, which is required to assist them see at night time. Southern Flying Squirrels are a bit smaller than their cousins, Northern Flying Squirrels.


Southern Flying Squirrel Vary Map

southern flying squirrel range map


Southern Flying Squirrels are frequent within the japanese United States.


However although they’re frequent, virtually no one is aware of they exist or sees them! Like different flying squirrels, this species is nocturnal and spends most of its time within the canopies of deciduous forests.


Southern Flying Squirrels usually go to chicken feeders at night time, feeding on sunflower seeds and peanuts. Fortunately, I’ve a digital camera that watches my chicken feeding station, and it has unbelievable night time imaginative and prescient! Take a look at the video under to see one come down from the bushes and keep for dinner. 🙂

If you wish to watch extra LIVE chicken feeder cameras, take a look at this put up -> 8 LIVE Fowl Feeder Cams From Across the World!

These squirrels are extraordinarily social and are sometimes noticed foraging, gliding, and resting collectively in massive teams. In winter, teams of as much as 20 animals come collectively in a single nest to preserve power and keep heat.


#10. Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel


Scientific Title: Glaucomys oregonensis

Common Size (Together with tail): ~ 12 inches / ~ 30 cm


The Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel is definitely a brand new species! These squirrels, which stay in coniferous forests in southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California, have been at all times considered Northern Flying Squirrels. However after intensive DNA evaluation in 2017, it was decided that these squirrels differed sufficient to be categorised as their very own separate species!


Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel Vary Map

humboldts flying squirrel range map


General, Humboldt’s and Northern Flying Squirrels look extremely related. The one distinction in look is that Humboldt’s are a bit smaller and have barely darker fur. These slight dimension and shade variations are what initially inspired scientists to run DNA assessments. To the untrained eye, it’s virtually unattainable to inform them aside!


Humboldt’s Flying Squirrels are what’s known as a “cryptic species.” This implies they appear virtually similar to a different species however are thought-about completely different and may’t interbreed.


Now that we all know they’re completely different species, scientists are working arduous to determine what retains them other than each other. Do they inhabit barely completely different habitats? Are their distinctive behaviors or specialties that hold them from competing? 


Which of those squirrels have you ever seen earlier than in the US?


Go away a remark under!


Study extra about different animals discovered within the USA HERE:

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