Eastern Gray Squirrel

The Eastern Gray Squirrel is one of the species of squirrels found on Concordia’s campus.

Information specific to Eastern Gray Squirrels at Concordia can be found here

About Eastern Gray Squirrels:

Description: They are grey mostly with hints of brown with a white underside (albino and black are rare). There is no visible difference between genders. They can weigh anywhere from 400-600g, their bodies are about 23-30cm in length, and their tails are 19-25cm in length.

Lifestyle: Eastern Grey squirrels are generally solitary and non-colonial animals. They are also diurnal with preference for early morning and late afternoon. They forage from before sunrise to around mid-morning. After their early morning foraging, they become active again during late afternoon to after sundown. This behavior may be modified due to interaction with humans, such as a consistent food source from trash cans on campus. They will bury some of the nuts they gather, which accounts for tree growth. They do not hibernate, but will stay in their nest for several days during storms or cold periods. Breeding starts in late January with a gestation period of 44-45 days. The first litters occur in March, and there is a possibility of a second litter in July or August. If they have a second litter, the female drives out the previous litter.

Habitat: They are mostly found in hardwood and mixed forests, especially where nut trees are common. It is uncommon to find them in predominantly coniferous forests. They live in tree holes or leaf nests and will occasionally change homes in the fall.

Diet: They eat primarily acorns in Minnesota, but they will also eat buds, flowers, berries, various nuts, seeds, mushrooms, insects and birds (especially nestlings). They bury caches of nuts in the fall and find them by smell in the winter or spring. Their diet may be affected by human interaction, such as the trash cans on campus.

Relation to Other Squirrels: They do not generally defend defined territory, but they are usually intolerant of other squirrels near them. They will scold and flick their tails at squirrels and other animals including humans. Even though they are generally intolerant of other squirrels, they will rarely fight other squirrels.

Relation to people: They will scold and flick their tails at humans. They do little damage to our trees, but may be a nuisance to crops/plants and may reside in buildings.


Dublin Core


Eastern Gray Squirrel




Mammals of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Press.


University of Minnesota Press


Hazard, E. B., & Kane, N. (1982). Mammals of Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/cord-ebooks/detail.action?docID=310156

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